A Lesson in Poor Public Relations Courtesy of Dabo Swinney

“Well dadgummit shucks why does everybody have to take the good things we do and make something bad out of it.”

Earlier this week video and photos surfaced of some shenanigans that took place at the recent ladies’ clinic held by the Clemson University football program. The video raised some eyebrows due to its “racy” nature, but we’ll let you watch the video (courtesy of @USC_Zack) and come to your own conclusions:

Despite the protestations of many Gamecock fans, there are a few things this video is not. It is not grounds for an NCAA investigation. It is not a reason to give them the death penalty. Christian Wilkins should not be suspended from the team. Nobody at Clemson should be fired.

At worst this was an inappropriate display put on by one player at an event sponsored by Clemson, and was a mildly embarrassing moment that overshadowed the raising of approximately $350,000 to go towards breast cancer research. I truly thought someone from Clemson, and probably Dabo Swinney, would say something along the lines of “it was unfortunate, we talked to Christian about it, and it won’t happen again blah blah blah” and then talk about what a great event it was and how they raised a lot of money for a good cause. Simple public relations.

Instead, we first got this from the Clemson Sports Information Director Ross Taylor:

“I think what’s been going around is certainly not indicative of what was actually going on,” Taylor said according to the State. “Clelin (Ferrell) was dancing with his mother out there. I think the winner was swag surfing. That video that’s going around is certainly not indicative of what was going on the whole day.”


Sorry got a little sidetracked there. But that was a big ‘ol vanilla wafer of an answer that didn’t offer up any type of remorse. Surely Dabo would give us something at least mildly apologetic:

“My reaction is, I can’t believe I’m at the Coaches for Charity event and that’s the first question I get, but not surprised,” Swinney said. “It was an amazing event, unbelievable day. … We were able to give over $350,000 away, and it’s a shame that that’s not the story. … Somehow or another that’s not the story.”

Um…wait, is he actually…

“It was an amazing day, and it’s unfortunate that there was 15 seconds of the whole day that people focused on and really don’t know the context. It was a lot of fun,” Swinney said. “But that’s kind of the world we live in. Even when you do good and you try to do good you get accused of doing bad. That’s just the way it is, but you do good anyway.”

He is, he is actually playing the VICTIM here.
The big, bad world of social media has taken this beautiful, wholesome event and turned it into something filthy and seedy. Swinney sees absolutely nothing wrong with one of his players simulating sex on the floor, and then on somebody’s mom, in front of hundreds of people AS LONG AS IT’S FOR CHARITY.
Meanwhile 98% of Clemson fans are defending this whole deal (shoutout to the 2% who at least recognize this was mildly inappropriate and embarrassing). One Tiger site even goes so far as to call the media’s reporting of it “reckless”. 
Again, in the grand scheme of things this is really not a big deal. If Swinney would’ve just acknowledged it, maybe even made a joke about it, the story would’ve gone away so much faster, and he wouldn’t come off looking like some hypersensitive “the world is out to get us so we better circle the wagons” curmudgeon. But Dabo Swinney just can’t do that, he has climb up on his high horse and blame everyone else.
 Heavens to Betsy y’all, this cult of Clemson thing is the real deal.

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