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Clemson AD: Bowden resigned 'for the sake of the program'

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Tommy Bowden was not fired, Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips said at Monday's press conference. He met with Bowden this morning and said "it was coach Bowden that put this on the table."

"He said, 'Well, in looking at things and the cloud that is over the program now, we've got recruiting issues, we've got morale issues,'" Phillips said. "He said there just comes a time when the time is probably right to step aside. He put that on the table, we discussed that and he made the offer to step aside for the good of the program. I accepted that offer and that's why we're in here today."

Phillips said his intention was not to ask for Bowden's resignation at their meeting this morning and "certainly not to fire our head football coach."

However, Phillips made the program's goals clear -- win the 2008 ACC title, a feat that is much more difficult to accomplish now that the Tigers have had back-to-back losses to Maryland and Wake Forest. Phillips said when he gave the contract extension to Bowden last season, he did so looking ahead to the potential this year's team had.

"I thought given the players we had returning, our schedule and really looking at the strength of the conference, that this was a wonderful opportunity where we could get over that hump," Phillips said. "Obviously that hasn't worked out for us."

Phillips is convinced, though, that it still can.

A source said Phillips told the football staff this morning that Dabo Swinney was going to be the interim head coach the rest of the way, and if it went as well as he thought it would, that his decision on the head coach at the end of the year would be "easy."