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Dabo Swinney gives stance on state of athletics with NIL

Davis Stephens, Contributor

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney smiles after winning the 2018 Fiesta Bowl.

Clemson football head coach Dabo Swinney has not bit his tongue when asked how he feels about the current landscape of college athletics with name, image and likeness (NIL) deals, and in a recent ESPN article, he double downed on his past sentiments.
As a proponent of student- athletes being properly valued, he has stated in the past that he supports NIL. However, he also acknowledged in the Chris Low’s April 9 ESPN article the problems with the current state of college athletics.
“There’s no rules, no guidance, no nothing. It’s out of control,” Swinney said. “It’s not sustainable. It’s an absolute mess and a train wreck, and the kids are going to be the ones who suffer in the end.
Swinney believes that education should be the priority in college athletics, instead of it becoming a professional landscape.
“I am against anything that de-values education,” he said. “That’s what I’m against. I am for anything that incentivizes education.”
Within days of Swinney’s comments, Clemson announced two new initiatives, Reign and TigerImpact, to help its student-athletes capitalize on their NIL.
Launched on April 8, Reign involves The Clemson Athletics Branding Institute, which, according to Athletics, will feature a photo studio, video studios, audio suite, office space and a media training area in a 12,000 square feet building. The building will be located adjacent to the Poe Indoor Football Complex.

Meanwhile, TigerImpact launched on April 9 and is another initiative to benefit Clemson student- athletes. Founded by Rich Davies, Kendall Alley and Kevin Gemas, the program aims to help students benefit from their name, image and likeness while also working to support local charities.
“NIL changes everything, and we realize that,” Davies said. “We also know that Clemson has a rich and cherished history of caring. Our mission is simple: To provide student-athletes with the means to further develop themselves as part of their education while here at Clemson and serve others by providing much needed support to community charities.”
The program already has 12 commitments from current Clemson student-athletes, including basketball center PJ Hall, football running back Will Shipley and softball pitcher Valerie Cagle.
As for how Swinney thinks Clemson stands on its NIL initiatives, he believes the University is in a good position to succeed.
“Everybody’s going to have a good NIL program, and our kids are going to have those opportunities once they get here,” he said. “But we’re still going to get the same players without manipulating them coming out of high school.”
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