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Dabo Swinney
(Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press)

Dabo Swinney Quietly Clarified His Stance on NIL

Dabo Swinney
(Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press)

Dabo Swinney Quietly Clarified His Stance on NIL

Clemson Football head coach Dabo Swinney has received plenty of media coverage for holding opinions many disagree with. However, he recently clarified his stance on student-athletes getting compensated through their Name, Image, and Likeness. This clarification didn’t garner much coverage, mostly because “Dabo Swinney Has a Reasonable Opinion” doesn’t fit the narrative. Those who did cover it made sure to paint Swinney in a bad light without actually listening to what he said.

Dabo’s Stance on NIL

Swinney appeared on The Players Club podcast with former Clemson football player Darien Rencher, saying the following:

I’m not against NIL at all. What I am against is anything that devalues education. That’s what I’m against, and I’m against the professionalization of college athletics. And what does that mean? Well that means, okay, we’re paying you guys your salaries and 18-year-olds have to pay taxes, I don’t think that’s good.

I think we should keep the focus on graduation, incentivize graduation, and do everything we can to modernize and improve the scholarship in addition to these NIL opportunities. I think it’s great. But again, with NIL and the transfer portal, there are some things going on that I don’t think are sustainable. I don’t think it’s good for a lot of young people – you’re talking 18-, 19-, 20-year-olds that shouldn’t be equipped. 98% are not going to play in the NFL, so let’s help them maximize this for sure, but let’s not allow some of the craziness that’s creeping up.

Dabo Swinney, via The Players Club

NIL Is Good, But Is Not Without Challenges

With the recent Kevin Steele situation, I fundamentally disagree with any coach who disparages the transfer portal, but just taking NIL by itself, Dabo Swinney isn’t saying anything unreasonable here. At a basic level, college is for education and not for bag-chasing. It was an objectively good (and overdue) thing that NIL monetization is now acceptable, but it is not without its complications for student-athletes, and that seems to be at the heart of what Dabo Swinney is saying.


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