Dabo spoke to a gathering of media members today at the end of the first day of Camp and had a lot ot say about Bellamy, Watkins, and especially the Big XII. I'm not even going to address the Bellamy comments because even if Mike came back, he would have only one year to play here, and Clemson almost never takes JUCO players.
On Sammy Watkins, Dabo stated that there was no definite discipline decided yet and that it depends mostly on his behavior between now and September and the pre-trial intervention that he's a part of right now. We have heard that it could range anywhere from 1-3 games suspension, likely 2 or 3.
"As I’ve said, I’m not going to make any type of decision until we get a little closer to playing time," Swinney said. "The main reason for that is that Sammy has a process he has to deal with. He has things he has to fulfill this summer, and a lot of that will depend on how he responds. So far, he has hit a home run in every category as far as how he has responded to this situation. Hopefully he has learned a pretty strong lesson from this. As long as lessons are learned and you grow from it. That is what we are trying to do."
"Is there a chance he doesn’t miss any time? Probably not, I’m not going to make any decision until we get closer to playing time and the main reason for that is Sammy has a process he has to deal with; some things he has to fulfill this summer. A lot of that is going to depend on how he responds and so far he has hit a home run in every category of how he has responded to this situation."
Then he had to open his mouth on the Big XII rumors....and said things to cut the legs out of the Board members who will be meeting this week (via telecon) to further discuss options with each other about what has transpired behind the scenes over the last few weeks. To my knowledge the telecon is tomorrow, and both Brownell and Dabo will be allowed to voice their opinion on any possible move, in closed session.
"Certainly as the head football coach I have an opinion, and you know it has been very frustrating. Quite frankly, I think there has been a lot of irresponsible reporting or blogging. We live in a world where someone hears something from a guy in the third stall down in the bathroom, and it is like, ‘That’s the fact. That’s the way it is.’ But it is so far removed from reality and it just takes a life of its own. It has been a real distraction. We are 1000 percent committed to the ACC."
"There’s one thing I know- I think every major team in the country with the uncertainty out there, ACC, SEC, Big 12, has to pay attention to what’s going on," he said. "One thing I know for sure is that Clemson isn’t getting left out. This is an elite program. This is a program that has incredible grassroots, incredible and passionate fans, incredible tradition, can recruit at the highest level, can win at the highest level, has great resources. There’s one thing I know- if there was an implosion in college football or a great restructuring of college football, Clemson is not getting left behind. There are a lot of teams that will get left behind, but Clemson is not one of them. That I know.
While theres nothing wrong here, and I expect him to say we're committed to the ACC, the best response is to say "That decision is above my pay grade, and we're committed to the ACC. I'll defer to my superiors." But of course that is never going to be what Swinney says, because then it wouldn't be all about himself.
The truth is that if Clemson was to finish undefeated, we would almost certainly be in the top 4. The problem is that the ACC gets no money when no team finishes in that playoff round, and theres not much odds of anyone other than FSU or Clemson getting there in any given season, based on the last decade of history.
"In my opinion, going to the Big 12 would be the worst thing we could do as a football program. It makes zero sense. We are the ACC. This is a program that has just won the championship and we’ve won it more than any other team in the conference. We can fulfill any goal and dream we have right here in this conference. We have a tremendous footprint to recruit in, to play in."
"If you want to know how going to the Big 12 is going to affect Clemson, I’ve lived it for about the last month," he said. "It has been very negative, very negative. It has impacted and affected our recruiting. I’ve had to spend a lot of time re-recruiting guys and assuring them that we aren’t going to the Big 12. It has been a big distraction and it has been negative, quite frankly. I’m speaking from the front lines. My job is to coach the team, and we’ll coach them wherever. It has been irresponsible on a lot of people’s parts on some of the stuff that has been put out there. I know for a fact that we are committed to making this the best league that it can possibly be and committed to making Clemson the national champion."
So instead of having SEC recruiters bash us for being in a shit conference, he would rather be bashed for playing 2-3 games a year out west? Do people not realize that we will be on TV no matter which conference we play in? I wonder if he would say the same if the SEC offered? What do I hear from every other recruit who is asked about his offers from the SEC schools that have his interest? "Its the SEC." I don't hear them praising the great football abilities of the ACC, ever. His statement just gives rival recruiters more ammunition if we ever did accept, because they'll just say "Well Clemson's head coach doesn't believe they should be in that conference, come to the SEC, we're far more stable".
Dabo just made it harder for the BOT to act on any offer that may come, a coach can't say this after the BOT Chairman acknowledges that Clemson will entertain offers from any interested party. Its not even that I have a problem with him defending the ACC, its his hyperbole that moving would be the worst thing for Clemson. He thinks $10M extra dollars a year would be the worst thing for Clemson?
Ultimately in this it will come down to a joint decision between FSU and Clemson on whether we both want out, since neither has been successful in using their leverage as football schools to raise the payout on a football-based contract, and Swinney will have to shut up and like it.
"Everyone can blog, everyone can be a qualified reporter nowadays, which is sad. But that’s just the world we live in."
Take those shots Dabs...go ahead and keep pissing off the fans every time you speak and see where it gets you.
While I have not stated that we are a "done deal" like some others, I do believe Clemson's Board has the votes (barely) to make a jump if an offer was to come. Bowlsby will be taking over the reigns of the Big XII within a week's time, and both TCU and WVU become voting members at the end of this month. I'm also certain that phone calls have taken place between Barker/TDP and some Big XII reps, but I do not believe anything is going to happen until the BCS contract is settled. It was supposed to have been completed by now, and we're in a wait-and-see mode until then. If an RPI-style or SoS was implemented, the ACC would be left out, despite what he thinks about "our great schedule".