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Monday, October 29, 2012
AD change won't affect Paul Johnson -- yet

By Heather Dinich

Clemson's hire today of former Georgia Tech athletic director Dan Radakovich as the successor to retiring AD Terry Don Phillips leaves Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson without a boss for the time being, but not without job security.

Johnson's ridiculous $10 million buyout in his contract should keep him employed -- at least for now.

Even if Georgia Tech doesn't win another game this year, odds are Johnson's job is safe this season, not only because of Georgia Tech's tight financial situation, but also because it's unlikely a new athletic director is hired in Atlanta before February or March. Radakovich said he has some loose ends to tie up in Atlanta over the next two weeks and hopes to be fully on board at Clemson by the end of November.

That's not to say Johnson's seat isn't getting warm. Georgia Tech has lost four of its last five games, fans have become disgruntled, the recruiting has been average, and the option offense has long been a target of criticsm, though not always warranted. How the next athletic director perceives all of those things will determine how much longer Johnson lasts. If the Jackets struggle next year like they did this season, then concerns over Johnson's future then would be warranted.

For now, the bigger issue is closing strong on a recruiting class that can help get the Jackets back in the Coastal Division race, and hiring a defensive coordinator to help develop that talent.