Skip to content

Clemson’s Swinney responds to religious criticism

Dabo Swinney

Clemson’s football program has come under scrutiny by the Freedom from Religion Foundation, but head coach Dabo Swinney says players of all faiths are welcome in the program.

“Over the past week or two, there has been a lot of discussion of my faith,” Swinney wrote in the statement, as shared by The Post and Courier. “We have three rules in our program that everybody must follow: (1) players must go to class, (2) they must give a good effort and (3) they must be good citizens. It is as simple as that.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a complaint with Clemson and suggested Swinney was guilty of not fostering a culture with a separation of church and state. The public university already responded to the complaint publicly, stating the operation and management of the football program¬†by Swinney¬†adheres to the Constitution when it comes to separation of church and state. Still, Swinney wanted to have his say and he states a player’s faith or lack of faith is never an issue when it comes to putting together his football program.

“I have recruited and coached players of many different faiths,” Swinney said. “Players of any faith or no faith at all are welcome in our program. All we require in the recruitment of any player is that he must be a great player at his position, meet the academic requirements, and have good character.”

There likely will not be much that comes out of this story as far as Clemson and Swinney are concerned, especially since it appears no players have voiced any discomfort with the way the program is run as far as faith and religion is concerned.

Permalink 25 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Atlantic Coast Conference, Clemson Tigers, Rumor Mill, Top Posts
25 Responses to “Clemson’s Swinney responds to religious criticism”
  1. dman6015 says: Apr 23, 2014 11:19 AM

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion (freedom from), or prohibiting the free exercise thereof (freedom of)”.

    Clemson is a PUBLIC university and must adhere to the laws of the Constitution. All of the people who say that players have a choice to participate or not do not understand how teams work. All for one, one for all. You’re an outcast if you don’t go along.

  2. mrlaloosh says: Apr 23, 2014 11:24 AM

    Does praying Sammy Watkins comes back for one more year count?

  3. germanflats13a38 says: Apr 23, 2014 11:44 AM

    “Laws are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious beliefs and opinions, they may with practices.”

    – Reynolds v. United States (1878)

  4. mcjon22 says: Apr 23, 2014 12:32 PM

    Bobby Bowden prayed with his team before and after every game and took the entire team to a church service before every season.

    The difference? Bowden won championships. Win big and nobody cares what you do.

  5. bobulated says: Apr 23, 2014 12:47 PM

    Dabo, “We have kids of many faiths; Baptists, Southern Baptists, Independent Baptists, Bible Baptists, even some Methodists and one Pentecostal. Oh yeah, I think one of the trainers is a (Jewish slur). “

  6. patriottony says: Apr 23, 2014 2:50 PM

    As I write this,,7 out of the 12 top stories on this site, are about players getting kicked out, drugs, trouble with the law, poor academics,,,or other assorted negatives. Yet you cheeseball, eating, panty wearing liberals want to complain about a coach who tries to provide leadership and morality for his players,,,on a voluntary basis? Tell you what,,you can all go share a shower with Sandusky,,and for the uneducated jerk at the top,,,,the constitution does not say FREEDOM FROM RELIGION,,,in any form,,,it says freedom OF RELIGION….two totally different words.
    Since I’m going to clemson in a couple of weeks,,I’ll suggest DABO have a couple of MUSLIM sessions,,,protest those and the raghead SOBS will hunt you down as an insult to ALLAH…

  7. planck16 says: Apr 23, 2014 3:27 PM


    Although I agree with your stance, I believe refraining from references to “Sandusky” and “Ragheads” may drive your point home more.

  8. jonkybon says: Apr 23, 2014 3:50 PM

    When will the social Yankee carpetbaggers mind their own business?

    In Dixie we love our life styles and want no part of the Kenyan dictator and supporting your parasitic lives.

    We believe in God, The Constitution, our guns, values and morals. Y’all just can’t stand that we are happy!

  9. jonkybon says: Apr 23, 2014 3:51 PM

    Sorry, socialistic yankee carpetbaggers

  10. patriottony says: Apr 23, 2014 4:14 PM

    planck16…normally I would agree with you,,,however ISLAM is the only religion of which I’m aware that imposes a sentence of DEATH for simply insulting their god..not defiling, or attacking, but merely insulting. Point being should these people or organizations attack islamic followers, they know what to expect. As for the Sandusky comment, that was to illustrate the difference in coaches or morality. The LEFT/Liberals,,,would choose sandusky over any coach who dared espouse christianity.

  11. bender4700 says: Apr 23, 2014 4:57 PM

    If a coach practiced Islam, the people spouting about “it’s not freedom from religion” would be very pissed.

    Those people are only about freedom if you believe what they believe. Idiots.

    Pray all you want. Nobody is saying he can’t pray for or with his team, just be sure EVERY player is respected. Even the “ragheads”. In Jesus name, LOVE YOUR DAMN NEIGHBOR.

  12. irishdodger says: Apr 23, 2014 5:16 PM

    The “if it was a Muslim coach” canard is a straw man b/c there are no practicing Muslims who are head coaches & if there were, I suspect most parents & athletes would be turned off and not commit to that coach. As we all know, kids commit to the head coach…not the university.

    And for the first poster spouting the “all for one” mentality with teams….there’s numerous examples of players of different faiths playing together. I’m an ND fan so I know of practicing Muslims (Ryan Harris), practicing Mormans (Kona Schwenke, Justin Utupo) who had had no problem attending & competing for a Catholic institution.

  13. Romulus says: Apr 23, 2014 5:40 PM

    Patriot tiny, you are an idiot if you really believe liberals would want Sandusky as a coach just to get rid of a Christian coach. I’m pretty sure Jerry was a “practicing” religiousgoer. Good luck convincing people other wise.
    War damn Obama!

  14. mikeinthevine says: Apr 23, 2014 5:56 PM

    Hey Tony,
    Clowns like you feel the need to put patriot in your name because you think it makes you somebody. You’re not. You’re just a knucklehead.

  15. clemsonstillsucks says: Apr 23, 2014 7:39 PM

    Hats off to Dabo and Clemson for standing up to yet another assault by communist liberals on the American way of life.

    I am convinced that every victory by the anti-religious crowd weakens our nation as a whole.

  16. classyjacklambert says: Apr 23, 2014 8:49 PM

    Do we ever get tired of bitching about people infringing on our rights? The left says “no”, the right says “no”… It might keep our nation somewhat honest but man do I hate the political process.

  17. psly2124 says: Apr 23, 2014 9:00 PM

    Iove what the left considers state. State in the constitution was meant as government. Not a “private” university. Nobody forces people by force to pray or not pray. Are people so thin skinned that they can’t see te words god or Jesus. Big f’n deal.

  18. onbucky96 says: Apr 23, 2014 9:12 PM

    The Flying Spaghetti Monster could not be reached for comment.

  19. onlyoneleft says: Apr 23, 2014 9:47 PM

    Dabo, these liberal non-believers do more for your cause than anything. Hang in there guy.

  20. germanflats13a38 says: Apr 23, 2014 11:14 PM

    Clemson is a public land-grant institution, not a private university.

  21. raysfan1 says: Apr 23, 2014 11:30 PM

    Clemson and its coach have made it clear he does not impose his religion on others and does not require any to
    participate in religious activities either directly or indirectly.
    No current player had complained.
    No former player has complained.
    This is simply a case of an outside group trying to make a name for itself and trying to impose its will on others. they have been granted too much attention already.

    Stand tall, Clemson and Coach Swinney.

  22. 1historian says: Apr 24, 2014 8:15 AM

    1) “It appears no players have voiced any discomfort with the way the program is run as far as faith and religion is concerned.”

    2) “This is simply a case of an outside group trying to make a name for itself and trying to impose its will on others.”
    Well said, Raysfan1 – Thanks

  23. dhardy8207 says: Apr 24, 2014 8:34 AM

    Tis the season… Easter, one of the most observed holidays in the Christian faith. There always has to be some sort of religious controversy every year around this time. Not just Clemson, a similar group has called for the Secretary of Defense to forbid participation by our nation’s military in the “National Day of Prayer Service”. Its held every year around this time and was originated as a prayer service for our fallen and still active military service men and womem.

  24. 1historian says: Apr 25, 2014 5:35 PM

    Just roll this around in your head for a few minutes and then say it out loud:

    “Muslim football coach.”

    Sound as silly to you as it does to me?

  25. sheepybrown says: Apr 25, 2014 8:15 PM

    Muslim football coach – great band.

    You guys are hilarious.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!