Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich said in a meeting with a small group of writers on Wednesday that “Jack Leggett is our baseball coach.” But despite that vote of confidence, he has no time table set for when he might extend the longtime coach’s contract.
At the end of this month, Leggett will have two years remaining on his contract that was signed in 2010.
“All of our discussions are programmatic,” Radakovich said. “Jack does have two years left on his contract so it isn’t like he is down to his final season to play next year and then a decision needs to be made. The way we are looking at this is how do we help this move forward?
“Jack Leggett is our baseball coach whether he has five years or two years. If people are going to negative recruit, they negative recruit at five years or two years or whatever. It was never really about that. It was really focused on what we are looking at in order to make the program better.”
Though Radakovich does not think the two years left on a contract will be much of an issue, one pro scout—speaking on anonymity—told The Clemson Insider earlier this week they are already using Clemson’s failure to sign Leggett to a new deal against the Tigers.
The source says it is a practice used by many scouts and competing schools, especially when they go up against an established program like Clemson’s.
“A coach’s longevity is tied into recruiting,” the source said. “With social media and all the stuff kids follow, recruiting is a tough business, especially when you throw in the pro issues as well. It’s not like football where all they do is go up against other college coaches. They have to recruit against us, too.
“We are all fighting for the same kids and sometimes kids want to play for a legend like Jack. They only want to go to Clemson because he is still the coach there. If we can convince them that he might not be there in a few years, that gives us a little leverage and maybe we can sign them and get them into our farm system a little quicker.”
It isn’t just the scouts that are using this ploy. Colleges competing against Clemson on the recruiting trail, most of which are in the ACC and the SEC are already or will likely use this same tactic.
“I would think it would be really important for Jack to show his recruits and the kids that he already has on campus, but might be thinking about going pro after their third season, that he is Clemson’s guy by an extension of his contract,” the source said. “It shows that there is faith in the program and that they have faith in Jack.”
Leggett says at this point they just have to evaluate his contract in two stages and he understands Radakovich’s philosophy. He knows there are things his boss wants to see changed within the program. He also knows Radakovich is appreciative and values what he has been able to accomplish in the last 21 years as well.
“All these types of things have action behind them,” Clemson’s athletic director said. “We have to do these types of things and make sure they are happening. There is a lot of work to get done.”
The Clemson coach is hoping that he and Radakovich can get back together in the near future and talk about the contract and how it affects the program in general.
“I hope to meet with Dan as soon as possible so we can move on and create the positive environment it takes to recruit at this level,” Leggett said.