AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. — Earlier this year, Clemson University decided to stop using the academic common market to help with financial aid. It was a decision that will hurt athletic programs such as baseball, men’s soccer, tennis, golf and track and field.
The last four years, these sports have been able to aid student-athletes who were coming from out of state and Clemson had a major that the student-athletes’ in-state school did not have. It allowed Clemson to land high-profile players, such as shortstop Logan Davidson.
With ACC rivals such as Virginia, North Carolina and Duke, and SEC schools like Vanderbilt, dipping into their endowments, it puts schools like Clemson at a disadvantage. Schools with endowments can offer student-athletes more academic money and can save their athletic scholarships for others. It allows some student-athletes a full ride as opposed to a partial scholarship for schools like Clemson.
“We continue to talk to (Clemson) about different ways of working through financial aid,” Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich said to The Clemson Insider from the ACC Spring Meetings in Amelia Island, Florida. “It is just not baseball, but it is every equivalence sport. So, you would look at men’s soccer, track, men’s tennis and men’s golf as well.
“It is something we had for a little while and we moved that to the side. But we continue to have a small working group that is dealing with the institution to try and look to even that playing field as much as we can. It is not something that can be done overnight. But we do have people working on that right now.”
Despite the challenges in recruiting, Radakovich says he does not expect the expectations for athletic success in these sports to ever subside, especially in baseball where Clemson has consistently been one of the best in the country.
“I don’t know if expectations will ever change. You can’t really legislate expectations and what our fans have. They should have a high expectation,” Radakovich said. “We have a great ballpark. We have a great tradition and we live in a talent-rich area. But there are a number of programs all over the country, that if you kind of take a step back and look and see, maybe they have been traditional powers and things have kind of reset a little bit.”