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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Dabo Swinney sucks even more than you thought yesterday

Dabo Swinney is doubling and tripling down on stupid.
Dabo Swinney is doubling and tripling down on stupid.
Image: (Getty Images)

God save us from the incessant idiocy of college football coaches.

It was just yesterday that my colleague Jane McManus wrote about Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and his inability, nay, his refusal to do all the things he surely promised parents of five-star recruits he would do, like take care of their children and make sure no harm came to them. In eloquently holding Swinney to account in a far nicer way they I would have, because Jane is a kinder and more refined person, she wrote:

Florida State canceled a meeting with the No. 4 Tigers after assessing that its opponent was playing a little too fast and loose with COVID protocols designed to keep humans from transmitting a virus that has killed more than 256,000 Americans. That number includes at least one college football player, Jamain Stephens. Hundreds of college players have caught the coronavirus, including Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.”

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Further, she went on to point out the specific reason that Florida State had called off the game:

“At issue, Clemson allowed a symptomatic player to practice all week, and when that player finally tested positive on gameday, Swinney was outraged that FSU balked. Perhaps FSU didn’t think it was smart to have a player practice all week with a runny nose, even if he didn’t formally test positive. But with proof the player had coronavirus and had practiced and traveled with Clemson, FSU made the right call. In a pandemic. With a campus to protect.”

But FSU doing the right thing led to Swinney jumping up and down and throwing a temper tantrum, demanding his team receive a forfeit from Florida State. That in turn led to Swinney being dunked on all over the internet. It also put all of us in the awkward position of acknowledging Florida State as the morally superior party, which... was new.

There are two ways to go when you’re trending on Twitter for being an unanimously acknowledged idiot. If you’re smart, you lay low, binge watch The Crown, and come back in a few weeks as a sponsor of some sort of charity, preferably for children. That sort of insulates you from further attack. Or, you try to tweet through it.

This is Dabo Swinney’s version of tweeting through it.

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Swinney’s garbage take, in which he attempts to dunk on FSU for having three coaches in four years, is straight out of the Donald Trump play book. Facts don’t matter, being totally and completely wrong doesn’t matter, people dying in record numbers all over the country doesn’t matter. Insult your opponent, puff your chest out. Make yourself feel like a big man. Refuse to learn, or grow, or be better in any way.

Remember, Swinney is the same guy who “didn’t really understand” the NCAA’s decision to allow student-athletes to be exempt from athletic responsibilities on Election Day and has said he’ll quit coaching if college players were paid. Yet another reason for us all to support paying college athletes. Swinney, by the way, is currently under contract for $93 million, a sum no college football coach should ever come within $90 million of. He is the highest-paid state employee in South Carolina. Let that sink in for a minute.

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Parents, I understand why you send your kids to Clemson. You want them to have a shot at playing in the NFL. But I am begging you to stop letting this moron be in charge of your children’s safety and wellbeing. Nothing good can come of playing for a guy who cares about nothing but his own success, the rest of the world be damned.

Co-host of The Ladies Room podcast. Author of "Sidelined: Sports, Culture, and Being a Woman in America." Former law-talking chick.