Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney believes the current landscape of college athletics lacks stability, in part due to the rise of the transfer portal and athletes cashing in on name deals, image and likeness.
On the Tigers’ signing day in December, Swinney called the transfer portal a “total mess” and called it “tampering galore” that would lead to devaluing education and lowering rates. graduation.
“Children are being manipulated,” Swinney said in December. “The grass is greener and all that, instead of working and getting a degree. There are no consequences. So now you have agents and NIL, forgeries, and you have no consequences… Education is like the last thing now.
“We’re going to have a lot of youngsters who won’t graduate… There are a lot of kids whose identities are tied to football and all of that is just getting better.”
Almost four months later, Swinney echoed similar sentiments, saying there would be an explosion in Power Five programs, especially in football. He thinks the schools in the Power Five programs should separate instead of all Division I schools being at the same level.
“I think there’s going to be a complete explosion…and there has to be,” Swinney told ESPN. “I think eventually there will be some sort of break and another split. Right now you have everyone in one group, and that’s not feasible. Alabama has different issues than Middle Tennessee, but we try to make them all the same and that’s just not the case. I think you will have 40 or 50 teams and a commissioner and here are the rules.
And, aside from those schools splitting into another division, NIL and the transfer portal need more guidance and direction, according to Swinney.
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“There’s so much bureaucracy and you can’t do anything in real time,” Swinney said. “Communication is not good and the rules are outdated… There have been a lot of positives regarding scholarships. But you have all these people voting on things, and it’s just not apples to apples.
Swinney said he doesn’t plan to use the portal on a regular basis, but more so when needed to potentially fill a spot on the open roster. Three-time Coach of the Year Bear Bryant says his transfer portal is in his locker room at Clemson.
“If I constantly go out every year and add guys from the transfer portal, I tell all these guys in this locker room that I don’t believe in them, that I don’t think they can play,” Swinney mentioned. . “We also don’t do our job as coaches and scouts if we bring in a bunch of transfers.”
While he doesn’t object to players profiting from their name, image and likeness, Swinney said education must come before any notion of a paid environment.
“I’m against anything that devalues education,” Swinney said. “…People will come after me because I’ve always said I’m against the professionalism of college athletics, and I am. Children don’t know what they don’t know. It’s a slippery slope if you professionalize college athletics, and now you have salaries and taxes and you can fire kids on the spot and they have to pay their tuition and they pay for housing and everything rest.
Swinney, entering his ninth season at Clemson, will look to put the Tigers back at the top of the college football world after starting a 10-3 finish in 2021. Clemson missed the college football playoffs after six straight appearances prior to last season.
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