Foot meet mouth. Dabo meet karma.
For the umpteenth time in recent history, Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney looks like a fool as his words have come back to haunt him. Every few months, one of the greatest college football coaches of all-time says or does something that makes you facepalm.
The latest example took place this week when Clemson defensive end Justin Foster announced that he was giving up football after never fully recovering from COVID-19, which kept him from playing last season. But, back in August, Swinney was the one kicking and screaming like a toddler saying that Clemson was the best place for his players to be.
“This is the safest environment we could have our guys without a doubt … These guys are safer here ... We feel like this is the safest place that we could all be.”
How do you sit down in front of a recruit’s family and tell them that you will take care of them and “treat them like your own” after this?
Who knows, but somehow Swinney has been able to do it as one of the best recruiters in the land, as college football’s biggest annual question has become “what two teams will join Alabama and Clemson in the College Football Playoff?”
People will ignore your foolishness if you’re good at your job, and Swinney is an outstanding coach with a winning percentage of 80.9 and a 140-33 record with two national titles on his resume.
At some point, people may finally wake up and stop treating Swinney’s antics as something that should be expected and actually hold him accountable. But, until then, here’s a list of some incidents that will make you wonder how he’s even been allowed to get this far without any real consequence.
Swinney ranked Ohio State as the 11th best team in the country because he felt they had no business playing in the CFP due to COVID-19 only limiting them to six games. The Buckeyes blasted Clemson 49-28 in the CFP.
When Florida State canceled their game with Clemson due to COVID-19, Swinney took his anger out by saying it was “an excuse.”
“This game was not canceled because of COVID. COVID was just an excuse to cancel the game,” he said as he considered the game a forfeit.
On the same day that Swinney was falsely bragging about how Clemson was the “safest environment” his players could be in, he was asked his thoughts about players unionizing, as his star quarterback – Trevor Lawrence, who missed multiple games due to COVID-19 – was one of the leaders of the player movement for unity.
This was his response.
While thousands were dying by the day due to COVID-19, America was literally burning as people took to the streets after George Floyd was murdered. Black Lives Matter was inescapable, and it was a moment. Swinney decided to attempt to hijack that moment by showing up in a photo that said “Football Matters.”
Also during that month, multiple people – including some of his former players – informed us that Swinney has been known to use the N-word a time or two.
“Dabo walked into the meeting room and said ‘I don’t want to walk in the locker room with guests/future coaches hearing n—a this n—a that in our house,” former players allege.
During this same time, Clemson special teams coordinator Danny Pearman apologized for using a racial slur at practice.
After Clemson won their second national championship, Swinney rewarded his team by taking them to see “his president,” where a buffet of fast food was waiting for some of the best athletes on the planet.
Weeks after Colin Kaepernick sat, then started kneeling during the national anthem, Swinney had this to say about racism, as he believes race issues are all about sin — as if racism isn’t America’s greatest sin.
“I think there’s a better way,” Swinney said about kneeling. “How about call a press conference? Express your feelings. Everybody will show up, talk about it. Go and be a part of things, and protest them. That’s great. I think everybody has that right. I certainly respect that. But I just think that this just creates more division. That’s what I hate to see.”
Swinney once dared to say this about paying players:
“We try to teach our guys, use football to create the opportunities, take advantage of the platform and the brand and the marketing you have available to you. But as far as paying players, professionalizing college athletics, that’s where you lose me. I’ll go do something else, because there’s enough entitlement in this world as it is.”
In April of 2019, Swinney signed a 10-year $92 million deal.
Ladies and gentleman, this is who Dabo Swinney is in his own words, and who he will always be.