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Swinney on NCAA rule: ‘They killed a gnat with a nuclear bomb’

ROCK HILL, S.C. — There are a lot of things Dabo Swinney does not like about the Division I Council’s new recruiting model which was adopted on April 14. However, the one part he likes the least is the rule that prohibits high school coaches from working summer football camps and attending clinics at colleges if a prospect from his high school is being recruited by that college.

“I’m very disappointed,” Swinney told The Clemson Insider prior to Monday’s Prowl & Growl event in Rock Hill, S.C. “It is one of the worst things that has come down the pipe in my opinion since I have been involved in college athletics.”

This is the first time Swinney spoke publicly about the new rules since the new recruiting model was passed.

“This is a relationship business,” Swinney said. “You especially want to have a relationship with a high school coach. Football is one of the last sports where it still matters. The high school coach still matters a lot.”

This particular part of the new recruiting model, according to the NCAA, prevents Football Bowl Subdivision schools from hiring people close to a prospective student-athlete for a two-year period, including football camps, before and after the student’s anticipated and actual enrollment at the school. This is the same provision that was adopted for men’s basketball in 2010. Schools are allowed to honor contracts signed before Jan. 18, 2017.

This is the part of the new recruiting model that really fired Swinney up the most when speaking about it on Monday night.

“To take them out where they can’t come and work a camp, they can’t come and speak at your clinics, and not afford the professional growth and develop that comes with it … that seems wrong,” Swinney said. “There is nothing anybody can say that is going to make me feel any different.

“So I totally disagree with it, but it is what it is and we have to move forward in a different way. We try to hire as many lower college coaches that we can, but it is really sad. Now it is hard to go hire a high school coach. I know the intent in what they are trying to do, but they killed a gnat with a nuclear bomb.”

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