In a statement released earlier today, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney has announced that he will not be attending the Palmetto Family Council fundraiser where he was set to receive an award. Dabo released a statement saying;
I was recently selected by the Palmetto Family Council, an organization with which I have no association, as their 'South Carolina Family Champion of 2015' and was invited to receive this recognition at an event sponsored by the group on June 2. I had no idea that I was being invited into a political controversy. It was my understanding that the nomination and election for this award was based on the work done by our 'All In Foundation' and the difference it is making in our community. My acceptance of this award was to be on behalf of all the volunteers that make our foundation a success. The work of our foundation is intended to build a better community and be a positive influence.
"Recently, my scheduled participation in this event has been perceived incorrectly as an endorsement of certain viewpoints and has entered the political arena. I have been out of town since last Thursday and am disappointed that this has become a distraction for me, my team and many others. I have been and continue to be very open about my personal beliefs. However, I do not inject those beliefs or the work of the foundation into the political process.
"I appreciate the recognition of my and the foundation's efforts. However, after much thought, in order to avoid a distraction for the team and the entire football program, I've decided it is in the best interests of all involved that I not attend the event on June 2."
This is likely the best decision for the football team and Clemson University. As Dabo mentioned in his statement this scheduled appearance was likely to cause more distraction for the team over the next week and possibly beyond. By changing his decision to attend Dabo can move the team and the school past this.
That said, this will not change who Dabo is nor his frankness about his Christian beliefs, nor should it. One of the best qualities of Dabo is his willingness to speak his mind and recruits respond to it. Though this situation spiraled out of control in a way Dabo likely didn't expect, it would be a shame if he changed who he is because of it.