He makes millions, his players get nothing.
Have you heard the news? Clemson’s head football coach Dabo Swinney is now the highest paid coach in the business, a business which still prides itself as an amateur venture, college football. Clemson University itself or getting subsidies from people associated with the Clemson football program will pay Swinney $93 million over a ten year period. Swinney has won two of the past three NCAA playoffs using student-athletes in a business where everyone else is paid. Swinney now makes more money than Alabama’s Nick Saban who is getting $74 million over the life of an eight year contract and Texas A & M’s Jimbo Fisher who is getting $75 million over a ten year period. Those contracts don’t sound like they belong in an atmosphere that is allegedly amateur. Players who are performing for the mere love of the game as student-athletes. The phrase student-athlete was invented by NCAA executive director Walter Byers in 1955 as a dodge which allowed schools to get away with not paying athletes.
Clemson players are putting their necks on the line and getting very little. No salary, no long-term health care. Sure, Swinney’s players can get something more than bruises from a game if they decide to pursue a free education. Swinney makes big money off his players’ collective backs but doesn’t think his players need to get paid. In 2014, Swinney said, “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. 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 is the poster boy for what is exactly wrong with college sports, coaches making big money off of unpaid workers who have little to show for their experience.