The Clemson football coach’s mega-deal highlights NCAA exploitation of black student-athletes.
Clemson football head coach Dabo Swinney considers himself the embodiment of The American Dream. He scratched and scraped his way out of extreme poverty in Alabama to achieve national prominence as a head coach.
The 49-year-old former walk-on at Alabama got blessed with a 10-year, $93 million bag from Clemson as payment for his two National Championships in the last three seasons. He slayed mighty Alabama and put the Tigers on the map as a producer of top flight quarterbacks and possibly the premier college football program in the country.
Breaking: Clemson has rewarded coach Dabo Swinney for leading the Tigers to two national titles in the past three seasons, announcing that they have agreed to a 10-year, $93 million contract. pic.twitter.com/WPpMOycDEG
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 26, 2019
Unfortunately, none of the underserved African-American players who helped him get that bag will be compensated or share in his riches.
They have a better chance of being treated as lepers by the NCAA for receiving a couple hundred dollars to send home to help keep the electricity on for their families. Assistant coaches get it worse. They are sent jail. As the middleman in most improper benefits exchanges, black assistants often shoulder the blame for the university and the head coaches who — are well aware of these infractions — but steer clear of blame under the protection of power and prestige.
Swinney used to be a living example of the miracle of having the audacity to dream big in America. As his fame has risen in a game that directly exploits African-American student-athletes for profit and prestige, Swinney has officially crossed over, becoming a walking billboard for Black exploitation. His exorbitant contract confirms it.
The coaches saying Dabo Swinney is the America Dream is so on the nose "making millions on unpaid labor" is the American Dream for sure.
— PeeonMusk (@SwitchGlitchmon) January 11, 2017
Especially when you consider Swinney’s past stance on college players getting paid. In light of his mega-deal, his opinions of the past paint him in a very contradicting light. While the contract has heightened his value and celebrity as a coach, any player who once considered him “one of them” no longer feels that way.
“Almost exactly five years ago, during the ultimately failed push for Northwestern football players to form a union, Swinney offered the following opinion to the Charleston Post & Courier: “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.”
Entitlement is the ability to make a minimum of $93 million plus obtainable bonuses off the labor of 18-to-22 year old’s, many of whom come from poor backgrounds just like Swinney, while standing publicly against the idea they should get a slice of the pie.”
Oklahoma's Riley is now among 9 college football coaches making more than $6 million a year to lead players who do not get paid, plus he is one of many coaches who make significantly more than their college presidents. Universities have a priority problem. https://t.co/DghLAUjcS5
— Sports Field Guide (@joegisondi) January 31, 2019
Need we keep asking why the NCAA is so corrupt and predatorial as TNT analyst Kenny Smith once told me? The fact that the NCAA still hasn’t figured out a way to compensate these student-athletes for the billions in revenue they generate is despicable. Coaches have been benefiting from sneaker deals, contracts, team sales, TV shows and radio and social media spots for years.
As evidence comes to light about CTE and other brain traumas being common in college football players, the risk of playing increases for these student athletes. Especially the ones who play prominent roles in making money for the universities but don’t have the benefit of a lucrative pro career. Who’s going to care for their medical needs after the Bowl Games are won and Swinney gets another crazy check?
Can someone explain to me why the #NCAA imposes show-cause orders (AKA potentially illegal group boycotts) on coaches that pay their athletes, but if you play a role in causing a football player's death like DJ Durkin, Mark Emmert & his merry posse stand by idly?
— Marc Edelman (@MarcEdelman) December 13, 2018
Swinney’s not going to break bread with those guys or share his contract with DeShaun Watson — the most important player in Swinney’s rise to prominence. Swinney has adjusted his comments since then and has a more favorable opinion of compensating players, but he knows that it will never happen anytime in the near future.
He probably didn’t want to appear just as he does right now. A hypocrite. The days of satisfying players who stand to make millions in the NFL with scholarships is over. Limiting the amount of money they can make through branding, marketing, social media endeavors and paraphernalia is an example of the NCAA living in the Ice Age.
They’re suppressing opportunities for kids who are already underserved to make money, while everyone else eats. Zion Williamson fed CBS, March Madness, the NCAA, Duke and Coach K’s pockets for months. He didn’t get anything for his one year of extreme revenue-generating and ratings-boosting but an exploded Nike sneaker.
Clemson’s Board of Trustees approved a new contract for Swinney Friday morning, a 10-year deal that will pay him an average annual salary of $9.3 million. White Coaches making millions And yet still the NCAA does not permit Football players to get paid. 🤦♂️
— jose lopez (@marauderjoe) April 26, 2019
If Swinney didn’t want any part of professionalizing college athletics, then he’d refuse to accept an NFL-level contract as a college coach.
He still took the money. The purity of the job is gone. All that college rah-rah he was talking goes out the window.
We have to look at the current landscape — not the one from a half century ago when these rules were invented — and come up with a modern system for protecting and providing for these players.
College football is nothing but big business and the players deserve a cut.