Swinney on the transfer portal and how he's happy his wife didn't have one

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Swinney does a radio show Wednesday in Charlotte
Swinney does a radio show Wednesday in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, NC – Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney has his own opinion about the NCAA’s Transfer Portal, and while he doesn’t have a problem with players moving on to a better situation he’s happy his wife Kathleen didn’t have the opportunity to take six weeks to look elsewhere for another man.

Clemson running back Tavien Feaster entered the transfer portal following spring practice and is expected to make a decision at some point in the next few weeks. Defensive back Kyler McMichael will enter the transfer portal at some point Friday. For Swinney, if a player graduates and makes a move for the better, he doesn’t have a problem with it.

“It’s complicated. I don’t really know where it’s going to go. There are always unintended consequences when decisions are made,” Swinney said this week at the ACC Kickoff. “Sometimes you have to figure out what they are and make some adjustments to get them in the proper spot. That’s what probably will happen with this. To me, if a guy graduates, I don’t care if - I’ve have guys graduate in 2 1/2 years. If a guy graduates from college, that’s what he came to do - and good for him. He sees that it’s a better situation to move on - I don’t see any problem with that at all. Sometimes a guy comes to you and wants to transfer and he may tell you why and it’s a good decision.”

Swinney said he lets the players make their own choices while offering friendly and fatherly advice along the way.

“You don’t have a long time to play. It’s a short shelf life to be a college player. Sometimes a guy may come to you and you may not agree with it and try to talk to him, but at the end of the day, everybody makes their own choices,” Swinney said. “And you’re either successful in life or not based on the choices that you make. It’s not my choices for the young man. Whatever his choice is, he’s got to live with that. I think we’ve got to look at as we go and as coaches, there are a lot of challenges with managing a roster and stuff like that. I’m sure we’ll figure it all out.

“We haven’t dealt with it much. I haven’t recruited the portal. I hope that I don’t have to. There may come a day where I have to - maybe I have some guys leave and somebody gets hurt and we have an immediate need and we may have to get (a transfer). I don’t know. But I prefer to recruit guys out of high school and go from there.”

He then said he doesn’t think the portal is going away. Not anytime soon.

“We’ve had a few guys transfer. Most of the guys who have left have been graduates,” Swinney said. “They’re graduates. I think that is something that they’ve earned. Guys that have been great in our program and model (players). Sometimes you get disappointed but it’s about what’s best for that young man and the choice that he’s got to make. Again, you try to educate and make sure that they’ve got good information and that they’re making decisions based on the right things.

“And that’s not always the case. But sometimes it’s hard to - sometimes you have to learn through your own decisions. We’ll see where it all goes. I don’t have any issues with where we are. I’m sure again that there will be some learning as we go along. I don’t think it’s going away. It’s unfortunate that i think some kids will leave early that they shouldn’t. There are certain things you learn through perseverance and competition and sticktoitiveness. There may be a time where it’s, “OK, this is a better time to leave.’”

As for his wife Kathleen, he’s just happy she didn’t have a marriage transfer portal to look for a better landing spot.

“Sometimes I think where we are in the culture out there, if things don’t happen immediately - you move on. There’s always going to be challenges,” Swinney said. “There’s always going to be adversity. I was kidding the other day with our (local) media that I’m glad my wife didn’t tell me she was going into the portal for six weeks and see what her options were. She might not come back. She might have left me a long time ago. Way back because we had a lot of challenges like anybody married young. I was married at 24. But 25 years later, we’re going strong.”

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