When Dabo Swinney received his contract extension from Clemson earlier this year, many people quickly noticed an “Alabama clause” in the contract. Apparently, in an effort to keep Swinney from jumping ship to the top college football program in the country, the school made it more expensive for him to specifically take the Alabama job.
Speaking to ESPN this past week, Swinney was asked point-blank why the school put the Alabama clause in his contract, and why he agreed to it. The Clemson head coach shrugged off the concern, stating he didn’t have any issues with it.
That’s something they presented when they presented the offer, and I didn’t have a problem with it. I think I’m one of the few coaches — they said, OK, here’s [your] market, and that was what they looked at doing the contract. I think I’m one of the few with a buyout.
Swinney went on to explain that he doesn’t pay attention to any of the ideas that he might eventually replace Alabama head coach Nick Saban. The Clemson head coach was an Alabama quarterback, as well as an assistant at the school before Saban arrived.
I don’t pay any attention to it. I don’t let that stuff distract me. People always like to say one plus one equals two, and it’s a simple thing. But I don’t pay any attention. I was at Alabama 13 years. I love Alabama and always will. That won’t change. But I’m going on my 17th year at Clemson, my 11th as head coach. I love where I am, love what I do…
Regardless of his stance on potentially taking over at Alabama, there can be little debate that he’s among the most qualified coaches in football for the job.
On top of being one of the precious few coaches to beat Saban’s Alabama multiple times, Swinney’s Clemson teams have dominated the ACC for the better part of a decade.
He has led the Tigers to five conference titles, seven division titles, ten bowl games, and four straight College Football Playoff tournaments.
But even if the Alabama job eventually is vacant, who’s to say that Clemson won’t be the more appealing school by then? The Tigers are already on pace for a historically good recruiting class in 2020. Maybe Swinney already has the best job in football