Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney has always defended amateurism in college athletics and opposed play-for-pay.
But the Tigers’ head coach has never spoken out against players using their name, image and likeness.
Willie Anderson, who played in the NFL for 13 seasons from 1997-2008 and made five trips to the Pro Bowl, misquoted Swinney on Twitter Tuesday in attempt to call him out for his defense of amateurism.
“I’m not being messy. Cuz the man is a great coach. But has Dabo quit yet?,” Anderson asked. “Remember he said ‘he would quit if they allowed players to make money?’ Just wondering what the fate of a great program like Clemson is gonna be without him!”
Anderson was seemingly referencing a quote from Swinney in 2014 when he was asked about the attempted Northwestern football players union that sought to advocate for pay and other benefits from their university.
“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,” Swinney said. “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.”
Swinney never opposed opportunities for student-athletes to profit from their’ name, image and likeness. He opposed the professionalization of college athletics.
When asked in 2019 by ESPN, Swinney held firm to his belief in maintaining amateurism and did not put the NIL in the same category.
In fact, he felt a player taking advantage of their own likeness was a potential solution for the NCAA to improve the student-athlete experience. The biggest concern for Swinney was how it would affect his players in terms of education and graduation.
“There are things I’d love to see in continued improvement, but I think everything should be tied to education and graduation. The very few, the 1.6 percent that get to go on to the NFL, for those who don’t — maybe there’s an annuity or stipend that when they graduate, they get that,” Swinney said. “That’s a model that can be an improvement. Maybe it is the likeness. I don’t know. Then you have others out there who say we should just professionalize college athletics.”
I’m not being messy. Cuz the man is a great coach. But has Dabo quit yet ? Remember he said “ he would quit if they allowed players to make money?” Just wondering what the fate of a great program like Clemson is gonna be without him! #NIL #Dabo #Clemson
— Willie Anderson (@BigWillie7179) June 29, 2021
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