Clemson AD Terry Don Phillips Thursday “announced his plans to retire after serving 10 years in the position,” according to Mandrallius Robinson of the GREENVILLE NEWS. Clemson President James Barker said Phillips’ tenure “is marked by integrity, dedication, wise business insight, and as a result of that, we are a much stronger university, financially, academically and competitively.” Robinson notes during Philips' tenure, Clemson “has not received an Official Letter of Inquiry from the NCAA on any rules issue.” Phillips said, “I hope they’ll see that we attempted to operate this program correctly from a position of integrity.” He added that he and his wife Trish “have been seriously discussing his potential retirement for about a year and a half.” His contract “expires June 30, 2013” and he has “accepted Barker’s request to continue his duties until his replacement is hired.” Barker said that a search committee “has begun looking for a replacement.” Barker will chair the search committee and added that Clemson “would conduct a national search, although internal candidates also would be considered” (GREENVILLE NEWS, 8/10). Barker said that he has “already assembled a four-person search committee.” He said, “We haven’t had a meeting yet, but I called everyone (on the committee) and I asked, ‘Are you ready to go,’ and they said ‘yes.’ I said ‘start the process of using your network to identify candidates’” (Charleston POST & COURIER, 8/10).
One year into the Univ. of Mississippi's “ambitious $150 million campaign to raise money for an overhaul of its most prominent athletic facilities,” AD Ross Bjork said he feels the effort is in "a really good spot," according to Kyle Veazey of the Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL. Some $65M in cash and pledges “has been raised toward the Forward Together campaign, which was unveiled to fanfare a year ago.” The first phase will “build a new 10,000-seat arena to replace the nearly 50-year-old Tad Smith Coliseum and will also fund infrastructure and amenity improvements at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.” The second phase calls “for a bowling-in of the north end zone at Vaught-Hemingway, lifting the stadium's capacity to over 70,000.” The campaign’s website states that the giving total is near $60M and most “has been associated with capital gift agreements, the per-seat donations similar to personal seat licenses that are more common in professional sports.” A little over $5M “has been raised as gifts not connected to seats.” Bjork continues “to project a goal of the 2015-16 season to open the new basketball arena.” To hit that schedule, the project “will likely need to enter the design phase in the coming months.” Bjork said that conversations “are continuing about potential naming rights for the new arena” (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 8/9).