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Dabo Swinney says players union “devalues an education”

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The college football world continues to react to yesterday’s news regarding the latest developments for the players union movement. The National Labor Relations Board ruled in favor of the College Athletes Players Association by suggesting college football players at Northwestern should be considered employees of Northwestern. Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney reacted to the news following a practice on Wednesday, shaking his head at the latest developments.

“We’ve got enough entitlement in this country as it is,” Swinney said, according to The Post and Courier. “To say these guys get nothing totally devalues an education. It just blows my mind people don’t even want to quantify an education.”

The idea that student-athletes already get a free education has been contested before, but remains one of the biggest sticking points for those opposed to the idea of a players union. Swinney has long been adamant in stating players should not be paid, and according to a recent HBO Real Sports/Marist Poll the general public is on his side. Swinney goes on to explain his reasoning for his logic by saying he did not get in to coaching for the money.

“I didn’t get into coaching to make money – coaches weren’t making any money when I got into coaching,” Swinney said. “It’s what I wanted to do with my life, and I was able to do it because of my education. That’s what changed my life. That’s what changes everybody’s life.”

Swinney was given a huge bump in pay with an eight-year contract in January, paying him a reported total of $3.15 million in 2014 with raises in the following years maxing out at 3.45 million per season starting in 2016 through 2021. According to a database of coaching salaries compiled by USA Today, Swinney was paid $2.5 million in 2012, making him the third highest paid coach in the ACC.

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24 Responses to “Dabo Swinney says players union “devalues an education””
  1. gorilladunk says: Mar 27, 2014 4:29 PM

    Dabo’s players say,”I’d agree with coach if I knew what “devalues” meant”.

  2. friarjack61 says: Mar 27, 2014 4:49 PM

    Stop scholarships for any team the is unionized.

  3. manik56 says: Mar 27, 2014 4:51 PM

    He is right, Gerry DiNardo just says it better.

  4. bigjdve says: Mar 27, 2014 5:32 PM

    That is really horrible that the relations board did that.

    Can the players even play for that college now? I mean if they are getting paid, they lose their amateur status which means their eligibility.

    Not to mention, schools will rightly most likely drop scholarships, and since they are paying them will probably actually hold them to academic standards which I am sorry to say will probably give alot of the best athletes a really hard time.

    They really screwed the pooch on this one.

  5. Slim Charles says: Mar 27, 2014 5:50 PM

    Well, I hope Dabo puts his money where his mouth is and donates his salary minus living expenses to charity. i’m sure local homeless shelters in his area will be very happy with the windfall.

  6. 6thsense10 says: Mar 27, 2014 6:02 PM

    All this hand wringing because 18+ year old adults may finally get paid for their contributions to a multi billion dollar industry. Give me a break. I believe in capitalism and I believe it will work out as long as there is a demand for college basketball and football it doesn’t matter how the pie is split. The only thing that will kill them is a lack of demand not how billions are split.

  7. noleitup says: Mar 27, 2014 6:05 PM

    If they dont wanna pay players then thats fine but dont go suspend a guy for selling his own merchandise or name. Hell ncaa and colleges dont wanna pay but I bet nike, under armour, reebok, etc. will whip out the checkbook. Booger mcfarland has a radio show in tampa and he said he dedicated 40-50 hours a week to football while in college. Thats a full time job! Im not saying make these guys millionaires but something had to happen. There was a story on here a few weeks ago about some kid stealing milk and bread!

  8. dmarado says: Mar 27, 2014 6:09 PM

    Yeah, having your coaching staff steer you toward a worthless degree so you can remain eligible to play is what educational value is all about.

  9. imaduffer says: Mar 27, 2014 6:11 PM

    If it wasn’t for college football Dabo would be unemployed.

  10. timmons94 says: Mar 27, 2014 6:27 PM

    Ok let’s pay them. And they have to pay for their tuition, room, board, etc… So ridiculous. The average family goes in debt plus student loans for years for a college education. Many of these hypocrites are going for free and it’s still not enough. I love dabos entitlement quote. That’s a liberal society for you

  11. thefiesty1 says: Mar 27, 2014 6:32 PM

    The NLRB and unions are what is wrong with America today.

  12. mrtreyseven says: Mar 27, 2014 6:33 PM

    Worthless degre???, if your degree is worthless whose fault is it for choosing that degree path, is it the Ncaa, the coach or you???

  13. mrtreyseven says: Mar 27, 2014 6:46 PM

    people act as if coaches just walked off the street and bam im the head coach give me millions. sorry if it was that easy i wouldnt be busting my hump to not only get my bachelor’s but for bigger programs you need a Masters as well. I said it before im going to say it again those who think going to college is pointless either a. never finished, b. flunked out, or c. never been at all. whats wrong with being patient and waiting to earn your money its not like you are going to school to be a dr. or lawyer when it takes you 6+ years before you really getting paid. As a former collegiate athlete i can say i traveled parts of the US to places probably never wouldve went to, ate buffet style breakfast lunch and dinner, slept in pretty decent hotel rooms with a bed to myself, all for the low low price of nothing. On top of that some days i got to miss classes with excuses because we had to travel. It’s almost like a man spending all this money on this girl and instead of saying yes to being his girl she says nope i want more. The school spends over a grand per player on equipment (helmet pads and cleats) at a rate of 75+ players, plus your scholarship another 20-25 grand, that hotel room per player to have their own prolly would take up 3 floors alone, not to mention. the amount of food an athlete takes in. You have been paid enough. Start making these guy buy their own hotel rooms, food, and find their own way to a game and see how fiscally responsible that 18-20 year old is with amounts of money they never seen before

  14. Professor Fate says: Mar 27, 2014 8:02 PM

    Nothing quite like listening to the pot calling the kettle black. A multi-million dollar enterprise that can afford to build state-of-the-art athletic complexes and stadiums and pay the coach a seven- or eight-figure salary, while pretending the actual product (football players) should be happy with their lower-middle-class salary, is what devalues the education.

    “Do as I say, not as I do” stopped working for most kids about five or six years of age. Continuing to insult their intelligence into their late teens doesn’t really make for a good argument.

  15. bender4700 says: Mar 27, 2014 8:48 PM

    Dabo devalues an education by getting paid so much to “coach” kids.

    Group of hypocrites.

  16. guinsrule says: Mar 27, 2014 10:02 PM

    The problem is, as the recent North Carolina scandal shows, the education many of these kids’ receive is worthless. The main concern of the team is to keep a player academically eligible not to ensure a quality education. Everyone laughs when they hear about some of the puff classes athletes take, unfortunately for the players, there’s probably a lot of laughter when they apply for jobs after they graduate as well…

  17. ytownjoe says: Mar 27, 2014 10:52 PM

    If colleges have to start paying their players a stipend and provide health care coverage for injuries that occurred during participation in the sport, perhaps coaches would no longer be able to get $3 million contracts?

    I’m sure Dabo would be OK with that. He’s not coaching for the money. Ha!

  18. scfan36 says: Mar 28, 2014 12:45 AM

    Dabo’s players devalued their education when they chose to Clemson…


  19. doggeatdogg says: Mar 28, 2014 1:36 AM

    @6thsense10. No one is negating that they need their fair share. Under a federally recognized union then all athletes including the field hockey guy is an athlete and thus deserving of pay as well and even if it is a she. Your billion dollar pot is now considerable smaller meaning that certain sports will be at risk of termination.

    Now that football guys have a union, so will everybody else wanting to get paid. The thinking here will be broader, not just football. Also, the unions would want a big piece of that billion dollar enterprise and athletes eventually take a back seat. It’s how unions role.

    What will happen in schools located in right to work states. Unions can’t touch that. Players will not want to go to those schools. Now you have two systems of college football. This will end up in federal court and I’m positive the supreme court will be asked to review. Finally, I am 100% sure the NCAA does not how to solve this.

  20. Professor Fate says: Mar 28, 2014 3:13 AM

    Football and/or basketball players organizing into a union does not automatically mean all athletes at a school are also in that union. There are industries with multiple unions segregated by job titles, as well as companies with a combination of union and non-union workers.

    Organizing for collective rights is not in and of itself just about potential salary. In addition, should actual payment result from an agreement between a union and an employer, it doesn’t necessarily follow that all college athletes would get the same pay. It would most likely reflect the income a particular sport generates for the school, the same way other working people are paid relative to their importance in a particular company or industry.

    I feel no sympathy for the so-called “right to work” states. That label is misleading, as it is intended to prevent unionization (along with pretty much any kind of employee rights) so that employers can fire workers for any, or no, reason. If that means premier athletes won’t want to attend their schools, so be it. In a free country you can choose to eliminate any and all basic rights for workers, but you then run the risk that many of those workers will choose not to live in states that do that.

    The bottom line is that the NCAA is not going to change its hugely unfair system without some major prodding. The attempt to unionize is merely a step towards an equitable solution. It doesn’t mean a potential college-athlete union would necessarily mirror a labor union from industry. At this point it is just the first attempt by kids being financially used to find a way to assert their rights. I’m a sucker for the underdog. I’ll always root for the guy who makes the machine go yet is always at risk of being run over by it because the guy that owns it is a greedy d-bag.

  21. ytownjoe says: Mar 28, 2014 8:46 AM

    Thanks to this unionization effort in Northwestern, America is about to embark on a discussion about what rights employees have at work.
    Hopefully, it becomes a wake-up call for those who have never been in a union workplace. Yes, employees have a right to be treated with respect and dignity in the workplace.
    Yes, employees are stakeholders in the enterprise and have a right to have a voice. When employees come together and form a union, their voice becomes stronger.
    The USA is a democracy where people vote on their political leaders. While there is a lot of noise, the system reflects the will of the people.
    In the same fashion, unions are democratic institutions and reflect the needs of its membership.
    Those who seek to destroy democracy always first destroy democratic institutions. Check on Hitler’s rise to power and following his defeat how the US restored and made permanent the union voice in managing the German economy. Look at the German economy today. I’d say it was the right move, wouldn’t you?

  22. gorilladunk says: Mar 28, 2014 9:10 AM

    @timmons94…”the average family goes into debt plus student loans for years”. Yes, but the “average family” doesn’t have a kid that has an exceptional talent that helps generate millions upon millions in revenue for the school. None of us may like it, but those in the entertainment fields generally make much more than their counterparts in other fields of employment. and athletes ARE in the entertainment business.

  23. corvusrex96 says: Mar 28, 2014 11:02 AM

    Baseball has a legitimate minor league that doesn’t require people to pretend they are students, why can’t football do it ?

  24. patriottony says: Mar 28, 2014 4:16 PM

    All you in “FAVOR” of students giving up their scholarships and taking cash think about this:

    1) Out of the 75/80 kids on the team,,maybe 5/10 are worthy of getting paid….the rest are there solely for the free education.
    2) NIKE etc are not going to be interested in a third string tackle at middle tenn state for sponsor money.
    3) These kids get into trouble with just 50.00 in their pockets,,imagine if they had wads of cash?
    4) 80% of these kids could not get into these colleges unless they had the waiver. How many of the DUKE players could get into Duke unless they had the football scholarship?
    5) If they are getting paid,,,they are employees and can be fired.
    6) Welcome to the wonderful world of TAXES….LOL
    7) if you think recruiting is CUT THROAT and crooked now,,,,make Money legal…Tide becomes the yankees,,,etc etc…Little schools could never get a player to sign.
    LAST think about this…allllllllll this money YOU think the school pockets is just plain WRONG,,,Footbal/BB supports dozens of other school sports teams under title 10…you crush eliminate all those other sports. Plus you would have to PAY the girls VB team,,field hockey…swim team…etc etc

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