Last week, it was reported that the Freedom from Religion Foundation, a Wisconsin-based non-profit aimed at keeping the separation between church and state, had filed a complaint against the Clemson football program for what it deemed as Christian worship being “interwoven” into the team culture. Today, head coach Dabo Swinney released a statement regarding the situation.
Over the past week or two, there has been a lot of discussion of my faith. We have three rules in our program that everybody must follow: (1) players must go to class, (2) they must give a good effort and (3) they must be good citizens. It is as simple as that.
I have recruited and coached players of many different faiths. Players of any faith or no faith at all are welcome in our program. All we require in the recruitment of any player is that he must be a great player at his position, meet the academic requirements, and have good character.
Recruiting is very personal. Recruits and their families want – and deserve – to know who you are as a person, not just what kind of coach you are. I try to be a good example to others, and I work hard to live my life according to my faith. I am proud of the great success we have had in developing good players and good men at Clemson. We win at the highest level and we graduate players who excel on the field and in life because of their time in Death Valley. I want to thank Clemson University and all the people who have reached out to offer their support and encouragement over the past few weeks.
The group had claimed that Swinney and Clemson had been practicing “unconstitutional behavior”.