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Paul Finebaum Takes Dabo Swinney, Danny Pearman To Task Over N-Word Incident

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney looks aggravated on the sideline.

SANTA CLARA, CA - JANUARY 07: Head coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers celebrates his teams 44-16 win over the Alabama Crimson Tide in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Levi's Stadium on January 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

On Monday, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney released a statement about the death of George Floyd, and the nationwide protests that have broken out as a result. A day later, one of his former players brought to light a practice incident that he did not believe Swinney handled adequately.

Kanyon Tuttle, a former Clemson walk-on and son of Tigers great Perry Tuttle, tweeted about an instance of a Clemson assistant using the N-Word during a practice argument during the 2016-17 national championship season. He said that he still respects Swinney, but the fact that the incident wasn't addressed to the whole team bothered Tuttle. Later in the day, we found out more from the player directly involved.

Former Clemson tight end D.J. Greenlee told The Statethat assistant head coach Danny Pearman used the slur during an argument. While he didn't use it in reference to a specific player, he still clearly repeated it, something he later apologized for.

Pearman released a statement about the incident on Tuesday night, calling it a "grave mistake." "I repeated a racial slur I overheard when trying to stop the word from being used on the practice field. What I overheard, I had no right to repeat," he wrote. On this morning's Get Up, ESPN's Paul Finebaum said reached out to Pearman for some clarity on the situation, but was referred back to Clemson's sports information director. He is also disappointed in Dabo Swinney for being silent on the issue so far.

"The conflicting thing here is, where is Dabo Swinney in all this? Dabo Swinney, I think, is very conflicted because he played for Danny Pearman at Alabama," giving background on the relationship between the two coaches. Danny was an assistant coach there under Gene Stallings for seven years. Danny Pearman is also an executive. He’s on the board of the American Football Coaches Association. He’s well respected, but so far, his response. Most people are going to find very lame.”

Finebaum says he's known Danny Pearman for 30 years, and reached out directly for more context on the situation. The Clemson coach declined him.

"I was just saying I would like some context. I was hoping he was say 'Listen I'm deeply regretful. I'm so sorry. This was a bad moment. I apologize even more profusely.' He didn't do that. He sent me a text back saying 'If you need any further comment, here is the contact information for the sports information director at Clemson.' It shows me he doesn't get it."

Domonique Foxworth went on to call it an opportunity for Dabo Swinney to prove that he's ready to "sacrifice for the greater good," rhetoric often used within football teams. "Dabo, I'm speaking to him and all the other coaches at Power Five schools. This is your time to show us. You always talk about 'Sacrifice for what you believe in. Sacrifice for what you care about.' I expect them to sacrifice in this moment and do something. Use this opportunity to move us forward."

We'll see what Swinney has to say today, assuming he chooses to address the issue soon.