Edit: Make sure you read this story posted this morning on ESPN about Christian Wilkins. It’s an in-depth profile and while it’s a long read, it’s definitely worth your time.
On Racial Slurs and USC
As I’m sure you’ve all heard, certain USC players accused Clemson of using racial slurs against them during Clemson’s blowout victory on Saturday. Dabo Swinney addressed the allegations today and he was both skeptical of the allegations and not happy with the reporting surrounding the allegations. You should read his entire response, but here are a few notable quotes:
You know, this second quote could apply to all those Stephen A. Smith, Skip Bayless, and Colin Cowherd types out there who manufacture controversy and “hot takes” for TV ratings, not just the irresponsible “journalists” who gave credence to these allegations.
In the aftermath, Jay Guillermo reached out to USC’s Dante Sawyer, who was one of the USC players making accusations, to clear the air. The same linked ESPN article reports that some USC players have since backtracked and suggested that it may have been fans instead.
And, speaking of Guillermo, Coach Swinney had a really interesting (and sad) comment:
One can understand why mental health has become a much bigger issue for student-athletes, especially for those that might come in with very high, possibly even unrealistic, expectations. Not only do they have to deal with their athletic obligations and expectations, they also have to deal with the regular stresses and problems of adjusting to college life. Social media and the internet doesn’t really help things either If you ever take a look at some of the mentions athletes get on twitter or the comment section of a popular website, yikes. If I were a famous person I would have zero internet/social media presence.
In Other News...
- Don’t hold out much hope that Watson will come back. Coach Swinney said that Kelly Bryant will be the guy heading into spring practice. It should be an open competition next year among Bryant, Zerrick Cooper, Tucker Israel, Chase Brice and Hunter Johnson. We might also expect to see some attrition at the position as well.
- Clemson moved up to #3 in the rankings. If Clemson beats VT, it will almost definitely secure a spot in the playoffs, most likely with a #2 or #3 seed. Alabama was always going to be #1 if they were undefeated, so if Clemson can beat VT this weekend, the loss to Pitt will not have affected the team’s playoff aspirations much at all. I won’t even get into the ridiculousness of the other rankings, like Tennessee still being in the top 25.
- Many Tigers were honored with All-ACC mentions. Nine Tigers were named 1st Team All-ACC and 15 were honored in all. Dexter Lawrence was named Defensive Rookie of the Year. Coach Swinney was runner-up to Justin Fuente for Coach of the Year. Let’s hope Coach gets the real prize that matters... the ACC Championship (and a natty).
- John Simpson seems to be okay after giving us a scare on Saturday. He might play this weekend, which is pretty good news considering it looked like he might have suffered a major injury on Saturday. There are no new updates on Fruhmorgen. Baker, Yeargin, and Pagano are unlikely to play as well. Hopefully they’ll be back for bowl practice and ready to contribute for (fingers crossed) a playoff run.
- Finally, a nice hot take from Colin Cowherd calling Clemson’s football team a fraud and being generally dismissive of them. What a tool. The real fraud this season was the entire SEC outside of Bama.