Former Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd says the only thing Dabo Swinney did wrong in handling all of the allegations and attacks on his character, and the Clemson Football program, was stay quiet as long as he did.
Boyd, who was a First-Team All-American and ACC Player of the Year during his time at Clemson, was on the Tiki and Tierney Show Tuesday on CBS Sports Radio. Clemson’s all-time passing leader explained Swinney was hurt by the comments and accusations that were being thrown around last week since Kanyon Tuttle’s first Tweet on June 2.
“You have to understand. Coach Swinney, as polarizing of a figure that he is, he feels deeply,” Boyd explained. “You know how most people will say just let it roll off your shoulder. He doesn’t. He hurts.”
Tuttle’s claim that an assistant coach used a racial slur during a practice was confirmed later that afternoon when The State newspaper in Columbia reported there was a 2017 incident involving tight ends coach Danny Pearman and former tight end D.J. Greenlee. Pearman later apologized in a statement and explained what happened, as well.
However, some in the national media blasted Swinney for how he handled the situation and how he remained quiet. Then this past Saturday, he was falsely accused of saying a racial slur by a former walk-on player. His character continued to be attacked again for wearing a “Football Matters” T-shirt in a photo that surfaced on Twitter later that evening. Swinney was given the shirt two years ago by the National Football Foundation.
On Monday, Swinney released a 14-minute video where in it he addressed the Pearman incident, as well as all the other accusations and character attacks on him and the Clemson program.
Boyd, who lives and works in the Clemson area, said Swinney reached out to him shortly after Tuttle’s first tweet on June 2, and he listened to how his former coach was hurting.
“So I am listening to him have this conversation, and a lot of it was a shot at his character, which I think was unfair because I whole heartedly know damnit, that what you see with him is what you get and it’s authentic,” Boyd said. “But a lot of what I thought we saw from the media was to his own doing to a degree. Now hear me out. Every time there was a moment that was brought up. Every time there was a conversation or piece that was thrown at him over the years, he has always automatically responded to that instantaneously.
“In this moment, the silence has been just as loud as the conversations that he had prior. But I think in the context, this conversation and this dialogue is so different than anything else he has ever talked about that he wanted to digest and absorb what was happening. Because mind you, the one thing I always, always respect about Coach Swinney, and the one thing I always appreciate that I use currently in the business world is that I listen before I talk. The hierarchy itself, I rather sit at a round table, as opposed to a square table. I don’t want to be the head of it. I want people around me to help guide me and help me see what I can’t see. I think that is one thing that he does really, really well.”
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