Back in late April Clemson’s Dabo Swinney signed a massive new 8-year contract with the Tigers that was the largest in the history of college football.
While that is noteworthy in itself, it was the interesting buyout language that tied in Alabama that really made it especially interesting. Swinney’s buyout in the new contract includes a “buyout enhancement” if he were to leave Clemson for the Crimson Tide.
When asked about that recently, Dabo shared the following, per ESPN:
“Who knows what’s going to happen down the road? I have no idea,” Swinney said. “I just try to be great where my feet are. That’s my focus every day. Who knows? They may do away with college football in three years. There may be no college football. They may want to professionalize college athletics. Well, then, maybe I’ll go to the pros. If I’m going to coach pro football, I might as well do that. I may get a terrible president or a terrible AD one day. I don’t know. I have no idea what’s down the road. But I know what we have at Clemson is special, and I wanted to make a commitment to the university. That’s what the message of the contract was.”
There’s a lot to unpack there. Dabo doesn’t exactly say he’d never go coach the Crimson Tide and certainly keeps that possibility as open as continuing to coach at Clemson for the foreseeable future…but then he goes all in on amateurism in college athletics and maybe college football as we know it doesn’t even exist in a few years AND THEN decides to just throw out there – “Maybe I’ll go to the pros.”
Perhaps the most important thing that I take from that excerpt though is that the current setup that Dabo has at Clemson is really special and unique in college football. His president and AD are great for him, and he has surrounded himself with a truly great staff as well who appreciate the culture they have created there.
All Dabo is ultimately saying is, “you can never say never, but where I am right now is really special,” and that’s probably the smartest approach there is for a coach in high demand.
Head over to ESPN to read the full piece.
Details on that “enhancement” portion of his contract below.
— Grace Raynor (@gmraynor) April 26, 2019