Dan Radakovich says he is grateful for the passion and support Clemson baseball fans have demonstrated to him following the program’s first losing season in 64 years.
The Clemson athletic director told The Clemson Insider it explains the kind of expectations fans have for Clemson baseball.
“We all have high expectations for our baseball program, and no one understands those better than Monte Lee,” he said. “The 2021 baseball season fell short of the on-field expectations, and it’s my role to work with our teams to find creative ways to help our programs succeed at the highest level.”
The Tigers are coming off a 25-27 overall record, including a 16-20 mark in the ACC. It was Clemson’s first losing season since 1957 and just the second time they missed the NCAA Tournament since 1987.
The last time Clemson missed the NCAA Tournament was in 2008.
“Monte and I had a chance to meet during the past week on multiple occasions, and I am confident in his ability to lead this program and his vision to improve on and off the field,” Radakovich said. “Clemson baseball has a proud history, and we are committed to earning our place among the nation’s top programs, year-in and year-out.”
The Clemson athletic director also met with Lee last Friday to discuss ways in which the program can improve by finding new ways to stay competitive on the recruiting landscape.
“It is a process. One that I am sure will be many,” Radakovich said when asked Monday how the meeting went.
As The Clemson Insider reported on May 28, Clemson is reintroducing the Academic Common Market for its Olympic sports, including baseball. Clemson used the Academic Common Market from 2015-’18.
Clemson had 15 student-athletes benefit from the program during those three years.
Radakovich would not say exactly what some of the alternatives might be for the program, which right now is at a disadvantage when it comes to schools who use large endowments to get around the 11.7 scholarship limit for a 27-man roster.
“Not really. It was very preliminary, just throw some things out on the wall,” he said. “And then we are going to have to let some people go back to work and see what might stick, so it is really the first of a lot of conversations.”
Radakovich did not want to get into what the athletic department is thinking it can do to improve its financial aid when it comes to non-revenue sports.
“I really do not want to get into that because we have to get some things done first before we want to go forward,” he said. “You guys know this better than most. We do an awful lot of work and until we get something that is cooked then we will kind of let it out there and let everyone know.
“There are a lot of things that end up on the cutting room floor and we do not want to move the conversation to somewhere where we might not get to. Just give us a little bit of time to see what we might be able to do.”