Dabo Sweeney set a new spin on criticizing college athletes’ name rules, image and likeness on Wednesday.
The Clemson football coach said in his early signing-day press conference that the Clemson program had been built on “the name, image, and likeness of God” when he was the head coach. Sweeney has long been deeply religious and vocal against what he believes to be “professionalism” of college sports while being one of the highest paid coaches in college football having Clemson winning two national titles under his watch.
“We built this program on the NIL,” Sweeney said. “We really did. And maybe it’s not what you’re thinking. We built this program in the name, image and likeness of God.”
You can see in Sweeney’s face how proud he is of Wednesday.
“As things change, God has always been the basis of what I do,” Follow Sweeney (via On3). “We’ve been drawn to his name, image, and likeness for a long time. I believe that as this new era progresses, God continues to bless us here at Clemson.”
You can read Swinney’s full answer to the question that poked fun at God’s name, image, and likeness at the link above.
Sweeney signed a 10-year, $115 million extension to continue coaching Clemson in September. He has publicly defended the size of his salary before on the basis of capitalism and said he loves the ability for players to make money from the rights to their images. But he deplored the lack of rules governing image rights And she told ESPN in April It is “against anything that diminishes the value of education.”
I am against anything that devalues education. This is what I am against. I’m up for anything that motivates education. People will come after me because I’ve always said I’m against professional college athletics, and I am. Children do not know what they do not know. That’s a slippery slope if you professionalize college athletics, and now you have payroll and taxes and you can fire the kids right away and they have to pay their tuition and pay for their housing and everything else. Athletic directors will get on board quickly. They were going to save that money.
And while Sweeney will likely continue to speak out against the current college system, he and other coaches will have to adjust to continue teetering on the better recruiting ranks by making sure the players they play for have the ability to earn what they deserve from their picture rights. Clemson is currently ranked 9th in the Rivals recruiting team rankings and it’s fair to think that his on-the-field success isn’t the only reason his class is ranked in the top 10.