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Dabo Swinney on possibly adding college football revenue sharing: 'I think it's just a big pot of clay'

Grant Grubbsby:Grant Grubbs06/06/24


On May 23, the NCAA and its Power Five conferences voted to accept the settlement of three antitrust cases in the House vs. NCAA case. The decision effectively ended the concept of amateurism at the collegiate level.

The NCAA will now shift toward a revenue-sharing model, which will allow schools to directly pay athletes. Specifically, schools are expected to have a $20 million budget annually, with the freedom to disperse the money among its athletes.

Although the sweeping change will offer schools promising new ways to compensate athletes, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney believes the model will need to be sculpted to fit the needs of college sports.

“It’s just a big pot of clay,” Swinney said. “I don’t think anybody really knows what can come out of it. Hopefully, it will be something great. But, there’s a lot of hands in the clay right now. That’s probably the best way I can describe it.

“As coaches, you just want to have some rules. Right now, we don’t really have any rules. We don’t really have any type of level playing field throughout college football. I think that’s probably the biggest thing. It’s just kind of a one-way deal right now. From a roster management standpoint, it’s crazy.”

The revenue-sharing model does not currently have many guidelines. While Power Five schools may easily rake in the $20 million to distribute to its athletes, smaller schools may not be as fortunate. Swinney fears the issue could only add to the disparity across the college football landscape.

This isn’t the first time Swinney has been hesitant to embrace change. The 54-year-old head coach has been outspoken regarding his concerns with the transfer portal. Clemson did not add any players via the portal this offseason while losing 12. Last offseason, Clemson only added one transfer.

“We haven’t had quite the same issues as some of the other people were and I’m just lucky because I’ve been here and we’re just established,” Swinney said. “If I took a job somewhere today, I’d have to do it completely different because half the team would leave.

“We’ve been able to still recruit really, really good players, develop them and retain them. We don’t have a lot of guys leave now without a degree. So, it’s a different time, but I don’t know where it’s all going to go. Who knows?”

Despite Dabo Swinney’s concerns, he is ultimately optimistic about the future of college sports and revenue sharing.

“Hopefully, that big pot of clay, there’ll be a lot of good things that come out of it because I do think we’re headed in a good direction and I think it’d be much better for the players. But right now, it’s just kind of a free-for-all,” Swinney said.