Swinney Claims He Built Clemson On Different NIL

Dabo Swinney

Dabo SwinneyClemson HC Dabo Swinney. Photo via Clemson Athletics.

Name, image and likeness — better known as NIL — has been at the forefront of the conversation in the collegiate sports landscape in the last year and has its proponents and critics.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney once said he would quit coaching of college players got paid though later clarified that he meant by the university and wasn’t referring to NIL.

On the first day of the early signing period, Swinney claimed he built his Clemson program on NIL. Just not the NIL you’re thinking of.

“Thinking through it and honestly for me, we built this program on NIL,” Swinney said. “We really did. It’s probably different than what you’re thinking though. We built this program in God’s name, image and likeness and that’s how I look at it.”

“We built this program on NIL… In God’s name, image, and likeness.” – Clemson coach Dabo Swinneypic.twitter.com/vgGJEAi58b

— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) December 21, 2022

Tennessee faces Dabo Swinney and Clemson in the Orange Bowl on ESPN Dec. 30 at 8 p.m. ET.

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Swinney has long been slow to and sometimes critical of change in the college sports landscape. On top of his past comments about paying players, Clemson hasn’t embraced the transfer portal and has instead attempted to continue building its program solely from the high school ranks.

The 15th-year Clemson head coach has taken the program to its best ever run, winning the National Championship in 2016 and 2018 with losses in the championship game in 2015 and 2019.

However, Clemson has started to slightly slip the last two seasons combining for five regular season losses. The Tigers previously hadn’t lost more than one regular season game in a season since 2014.

Swinney also made news earlier in November when he criticized Tennessee’s defense and said they were planning on “flipping burgers at home” on conference championship weekend after the Vols lost at South Carolina. The Gamecocks proceeded to end a eight-game losing streak against Clemson a week later.

The long time Clemson coach walked back his comments and said they were taken out of context after the announcement of the Orange Bowl matchup.

No. 6 Tennessee and No. 7 Clemson kick off at Hard Rock Stadium at 8 p.m. ET on Nov. 30. ESPN is broadcasting the game.

Author: Ethan Moore