In case you didn’t hear, Dabo Swinney, a journalism hater, same sex marriage opponent, racism denier, deportation supporter and National Champion, led the 14-1 Clemson Tigers over Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide in a non-sanctioned football game to determine the winner of a 4-team playoff. Congrats to Dabo for the accolades, not to mention his $1.4m bonus!
(Ed note: this article was written in early January 2017 but never quite ran. So it’s unfinished, but not by much. Given the recent scandal - if you can call something so blatantly obvious a “scandal” - I decided to run what got completed. It works. No changes have been made.)
Let’s see what this post-grad educated Alabama born-and-raised white middle aged tens-of-millions-aire thinks is owed to the young black men who fought so hard for him:
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.
I was worried that like 9 days into 2017 we’d have our hypocrite of the year with Coach Kschshevsky and the whole Grayson Allen thing.
Look, it’s easy to single out Dabo for this oft-parroted opinion about collegiate athletics, especially if you’re myopic enough to focus on this as the pervasive issue and ignore all the other pervasive issues. Like coaches publicly chastising players if they don’t participate in, say, the meaningless Citrus Bowl, a game so important to fans that this year’s results haven’t even been filled in on the Wikipedia page. God fucking forbid someone puts their $15m career ahead of a coach’s $40k incentive. Brick by fastidious brick, those profiting from the shrine of amateurism are building it up taller and taller when they say stupid shit like UGA coach Mike Richt:
I don’t think we can get into pay for play because if we do then they’re not amateur athletes anymore.
Yeah, that’s a great reason. “If we take people who are treated one way and treat them a different way, then they won’t get treated like the first way anymore.” Got it. Here’s Jim “Early-Onset Alzheimer’s” Boeheim:
I don’t believe players should be paid. I think they’re getting a tremendous opportunity. If they’re really good, they get to develop. They get the opportunity to play in the NBA. They make a lot of money or they play in Europe and make a good amount of money.
He’s right. As a value proposition, athletes do get a fantastic opportunity. 256 guys a year are drafted to the NFL, a sport that, by the way, “employs” nearly twenty eight thousand in Division 1 alone. Put differently, 27,744 players do not make it to the NFL – yet apparently had all of the same opportunities as the guys who did. Sure Jim, whatever helps you sleep at night. And since this part is where he would chime in on those 27,744 with some stupid garbage like “love of the game,” then pardon me for interrupting, but if this bullshit sanctimony is so important he needs to give up his salary or shut the fuck up.
There is, factually, zero reason the athletes should not be paid if the networks paid for the rights and sold the viewers. CBS dramas are not cast with unpaid interns. TKTKTK. Yet that shrine to amateurism has grown so large and fortified that it’s not going away overnight. So in the meantime: isn’t it time the coaches bow before the same one?
And I get that accountability is pretty immaterial when athletics is such a money-maker for the school.
In 2014, Radakovich pushed for a controversial proposal to implement a $350 student athletic fee which would have raised approximately $6 million in revenues for the Clemson Athletic Department. Radakovich’s proposal would have been mandatory for all undergraduate students.
Too bad there’s no other way for Clemson to close a budget gap of $4.5m + $1.5m of incentives.