Dabo Swinney is one of my favorite coaches in all of sports. But I can't help but question why he decided to start freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence over senior Kelly Bryant given Clemson's 4-0 start to the season!
Bryant started for Clemson 18 times after inheriting the job from now-Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, and there was no valid explanation for benching him in favor of the freshman.
He took it as a slap in the face, given that he busted his ass for 3 prior years to be in the position he was in. He then quit and decided to redshirt in search of another starting opportunity next year.
Bryant joins Arkansas wide receiver Jonathan Nance, Oregon's Taj Griffin, and five Auburn players in a growing list of athletes taking advantage of the new redshirting rules the NCAA put in place this year.
I know life's not fair, but how can this shit happen?
"I've never been a distraction. I've never been in trouble with anything. To me, it was kind of a slap in the face," Bryant said of the benching news.
This is part of a much bigger issue that I've had with college sports and their poor representation of their athletes lately.
How come coaches have the power to do whatever they want; coming and going as they please, while athletes face consequences for leaving or not wanting to be a part of their program? Players have to sit, and schools have the power to revoke scholarships if they get injured. Coaches make so many promises to kids they don't end up delivering on. You wonder why there's so many one-and-dones these days.
College athletes need better representation. Division I athletes deserve more power.
If the players get drafted into the pros, they're given rookie contracts after spending all of college having their name and likeness sold constantly and not making a dollar off of it. Since most colleges operate on a "what have you done for me lately" type-basis, athletes should feel like they're being taken advantage of!
You wonder why so many athletes have so many issues off the field. Perhaps rather than focusing on winning 100% of the time, some of these coaches should do a better job getting to know their athletes and taking care of their needs.
Maybe a little extra thought and effort could help prevent athletes from dying on the field or getting wrapped up in legal troubles. So many athletes enter the pros with huge chips on their shoulders, which shouldn't be the case after playing at prestigious colleges for up to 4 years!
Athletes are people too, after all.
Dabo Swinney is a win-at-all-cost type coach, and that's fine; as I mentioned earlier he's one of the best in the game today. But this as an entirety shows that we're not only on the wrong path towards discovering what's best for our kids, we're on the wrong path sprinting enthusiastically in the wrong direction!
I was featured on the "On The Bus" podcast yesterday, and I delved into this topic in more detail. If you're interested, check out the clip below:
What do you think about this Clemson saga, and the state of the NCAA in general? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.