When forming your opinion on what is true and what isn't, just keep in mind that CUTigers.com is the only web site that went to every football game and Tommy Bowden press conference this year. It attended more than 95 percent of football practices and attends every home basketball game, not to mention nearly every away basketball game. CUTigers.com was the only media outlet in South Carolina to attend the hoops game at Boston College.
CUTigers.com is also the only site that employees a real, full-time reporter to cover all Clemson athletics.
It is a fact that there are points in time when every media outlet will be the first to report something. And CUTigers.com, like every outlet, has been second to report a story. The difference is CUTigers.com has led the way in breaking the most stories that are accurate. What also makes us different form other web sites is we attempt to quote the subject of the story directly and not speculate, as evident from our exclusive interviews within the last six weeks.
Also, another website went three weeks without reporting any real coaching search news. We know our readers expect and demand more for their money.
So, here is a breakdown and timeline of the facts as they stand today. If someone attempts to discredit these facts, they either have no clue as to what they're saying, are lying or is simply jealous for not having the information first.
- Nov. 29 – Then offensive coordinator Mike O'Cain gives CUTigers.com an exclusive regarding the fight and decision not to go to a bowl. One day later he and defensive coordinator John Lovett are fired.
- Dec. 1 – CUTigers.com reports that Levon Kirkland spoke with members of the coaching staff and that he is interested in coming to Clemson as linebackers coach. Others have said it never happened. Just keep in mind that our reporter Brett Jensen does radio in Charlotte with Kirkland.
- Dec. 1 – SportsTalk, CUTigers.com, the Charleston Post & Courier, and The State first reports that former Florida offensive coordinator Larry Fedora was contacted by Bowden and that the two had not met face-to-face. We also accurately reported that Bowden offered Fedora complete control of the offense, which has since happened with Rob Spence. We never said he was offered a job.
- Dec. 2 – Despite several attempts by many, CUTigers.com is the only media outlet that speaks with Boise State offensive coordinator Chris Peterson about him being a candidate to replace O'Cain. He quickly says no, regardless of what others had said and speculated.
- Dec. 3 – CUTigers.com reports that David Blackwell is expected to be the new defensive coordinator. The papers in Charleston, Anderson and Columbia each later reported that he was considered the leading candidate, with at least two saying he was expected to get the job. A statewide radio station and radio host Mickey Plyler also reported the same thing. At the time, however, that was the belief of many inside the football office.
- Dec. 6 – CUTigers.com becomes the only media outlet to interview Fedora, who confirmed he had been contacted by Bowden and might be interested in coming to Clemson.
- Dec. 7 – CUTigers.com is the only web site at Mike O'Cain's last press conference.
- Dec. 8 – CUTigers.com is the first to report that Bowden has contacted Rob Spence.
- Dec. 8 – CUTigers.com is the only web site at Justin Miller's press conference.
- Dec. 9 – Another web site reports that Bowden spoke with Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville about Spence. That is the last real coaching search news reported by that site for three weeks.
- Dec. 10 – Despite speculation on another site and a radio show, LSU offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher was never a real candidate to come to Clemson. As proof, CUTigers.com is the only media outlet that speaks to Fisher's agent, who says Fisher is an advisor and not a candidate.
- Dec. 11 – CUTigers.com reports that Dexter Davis is interested in the job and speaks to Bowden about it.
- Dec. 14 – CUTigers.com and Charleston reports that high school coach Bobby Bentley has been contacted and has been offered a job to come to Clemson. There seems to be plenty debate over this. Everybody agrees he was contacted, but not everybody seems to think he was offered a job. Money was discussed and Bentley lets it be known that he has a "decision" to make. If he was never offered, why would he have to decide whether or not to stay at Byrnes High? If no offer was made, he wouldn't have had a decision to make. It's called common sense.
- Dec. 16 – CUTigers.com reports that Dexter Davis has met face-to-face with Bowden.
- Dec. 22 – CUTigers.com reports that two LSU coaches, Kirby Smart and Will Muschamp, are contacted by Bowden.
- Dec. 22 – CUTigers.com reports that Spence has interviewed at Miami of Ohio.
- Dec. 30 – CUTigers.com reports that Virginia Tech coach Lorenzo Ward is not a candidate for the job despite speculation by a web site and radio show. CUTigers.com is the only outlet to speak to Ward.
- Jan. 3 – Another web site reports Spence as accepted the position and that Muschamp has turned Bowden down by using sources. CUTigers.com is the only site that actually speaks to Spence on the record.
- Jan 3 – The Anderson paper reports that Vic Koenning is a candidate and on Clemson's campus. A message of the story is posted on another site and one hour later at 1 a.m., the site posts a story and claims to have broken the story. Anderson had the story posted on its site at 11 p.m., some two hours before the web site.
- Jan. 4 – CUTigers.com reports that Blackwell has a job waiting for him at Southern California if he wants it one day after Charleston reports the two parties have had discussions.
- Jan. 6 – CUTigers.com reports that Kirby Smart will stay at LSU and that Davis continues to speak with Bowden nearly twice a week.
- Jan. 6 – CUTigers.com reports that Terry Don Phillips' approval is all that stands between Koenning becoming the new defensive coordinator at Clemson.