Clemson, South Carolina – Clemson football coach Dabo Sweeney said this week that he believes the lack of standardization will lead to a complete restructuring in college athletics at some point. In particular, he sees the larger and more popular Power 5 schools forming their own football division.
“I think there’s going to be a complete blast…especially in football, and there has to be,” Sweeney told ESPN. “I think eventually there’s going to be some kind of a break and another section. Right now, I’ve got everyone in one group, which isn’t possible. Alabama has different problems than Middle Tennessee, but we’re trying to make it all the same. It’s not. I think you’re going to have 40 or so.” 50 teams and commissioners and here are the rules.”
Sweeney said the current system is a “chaos” and that it’s hard to achieve anything as college athletics players continue to evolve and change in the new world of transfer gate, name, image, and example.
“There’s a lot of bureaucracy and you can’t get anything done in real time,” Sweeney said. “It’s frustrating.” “Communication is not good and the rules are outdated. Again, there were a lot of positives when it came to scholarships. But you have all these people voting on things, and it’s not just apple for apple.”
Swinney has confirmed that he is not against the NIL, but remains firmly against the professionalization of college athletics and anything that rises to the level of pay-per-play.
“I am against anything that devalues education,” Sweeney said. “That’s what I’m against. I’m for anything that stimulates education. People will come after me because I always say I’m against professional athletics in college, and I am. Kids don’t know what to do I don’t. It’s a slippery slope if I professionalize athletics.” In college, now you have salaries and taxes and you can fire the kids right away and they have to pay their tuition, they have to pay their housing and everything else.
“Athletic managers will be involved in this in no time. They will save money.”
Entering his ninth season as Clemson’s head coach, Sweeney said it’s a good thing that players can make use of their name, photo and likeness once they get to school and have a “platform,” but he said it’s illogical to think that the current player nothing will not be used as an incentive to recruit. .
“There are no rules, no guidelines, nothing,” Sweeney said. “It’s out of control. It’s not sustainable. It’s utter chaos and a train wreck, and it will be the kids who will suffer in the end. There will be a lot of kids who end up without grades making decisions based on the wrong things.”
Swinney also said that Clemson would not actively use the transfer gate unless there was a gap the Tigers needed to fill in their roster. For example, he said the Tigers will be looking to add an offensive line man in May.
“My transfer gate is in this locker room because if I go out constantly every year and add guys from the transfer gate, I tell all these guys in this locker room I don’t believe in them, I don’t think they can play,” Sweeney said. “We’re also not doing our job as coaches and staff if we bring in a bunch of transfers.”
Clemson will have its annual spring game Saturday at Memorial Stadium. The Tigers rebounded from a 4-3 start a year ago to win 10 games, but haven’t made the College Football Playoff final after six games in a row. Midfielder DJ Uiagallei lost over £20 after finishing with nine touchdown passes and 10 interceptions last season.
“We have to be better with the DJ,” Sweeney said. “All young players make mistakes, but we weren’t good around him and that only added to his mistakes. We have to be better around him. He has to be better and better. He has reshaped his body (down from 260 lbs. up to 240) and I’m focused on getting better every day” .
Sweeney was also pleased with the development of new quarterback Kid Klopnick. Klubnik, ranked as ESPN’s No. 1 double-threat quarterback in the 2022 class, signed up early and is undergoing spring practice.
“One of the best things for (Oyagalele) is to bring in Cady Klopnik,” Sweeney said. “Nothing makes you better than real competition, and that’s what we got this spring.”