Having talked his way into a corner, one has to wonder if Jack Leggett will be able to talk his way out?
When Leggett meets with Dan Radakovich this week to discuss the future of the Clemson baseball program, there will more than plenty of substantive, quantifiable issues on the table.
NCAA tournament success has slumped, as has long-term performance against the Clemson's top-tier, every-year opponents - South Carolina, Virginia, Florida State and North Carolina.
For the first time in two decades, a four-year class of Tigers has come and gone without making a trip to Omaha.
Facilities have been allowed to fall behind, again against the competition that matters most; and that, in turn, arguably has adversely affected and continues to affect recruiting. An upgrade project envisioned by Leggett and program supporters nearly a decade ago has been slow in coming to fruition, while other athletic facility projects have been fast-tracked.
So there is room for discussion that both the coaching staff and the administration share responsibility for the indisputable decline.
There will also be an elephant in the room, however, when Radakovich and Leggett meet - something I've been pondering since Larry Williams raised the point in a thoughtful analysis piece posted on Tiger Illustrated.
This season isn't the first time that Leggett has testily defended his program against critics. But it's the first time he's done it in such a public, and seemingly intentional way.
His comments during the last month of the season, as the Tigers struggled for their NCAA lives, seemed to be an in-your-face affront to habitually disappointed Clemson fans who gave up on the season and stopped coming to games.
Leggett's comments may have been designed to fire up his team, putting them into a backs-against-the-wall, us-against-them mentality.
But when the 'them' in the equation is the legion of fans who passionately follow Clemson baseball, Leggett may have misfired badly.
In this situation, the power of perception can hardly be overstated. The fans, by and large, have expressed their take - and it doesn't trend in Leggett's favor.
Radakovich has so far kept his own perception to himself. But the fact that he chose to issue a rather carefully-worded statement Sunday afternoon, immediately after the Tigers' weekend debacle in Nashville, shows, at the very least, that baseball has his attention.
My gut says that Leggett's tenure at Clemson hangs in the balance when he and Radakovich meet this week. And that Leggett's attitude in that meeting will go a long way toward determining its outcome.
In a weekend blog, I expressed my personal preference - that Clemson find a way to give Leggett a final chance to right the ship, or, at least, to retire with the dignity and positive recognition that he deserves.
Almost unanimously, those who've responded or commented have respectfully and thoughtfully (mostly) disagreed, expressing the opinion that Leggett has already had ample time to right the ship, the decline has been long-term, and it's time for a change.
Were coaching decisions democratically decided by a fan vote, Leggett's cause would almost undoubtedly already be lost.
Words have power. And it's plain that Clemson fans, by and large, don't like what they've heard. And that Leggett now has the new AD's ear, for better or worse.
Follow Kerry Capps on Twitter @oandwkc