Don’t look for Clemson coaches at satellite camps
Swinney reiterated on Thursday that satellite camps are not something his coaches will be taking part in.

Don’t look for Clemson coaches at satellite camps

by - Correspondent -

The topic of satellite camps is a hot one this spring, but Clemson football head coach Dabo Swinney said they aren’t new.

And he also reiterated the camps are not something his coaches will be taking part in.

“First of all, to each his own. I’m not here to tell other people how to run their program,” Swinney said Thursday. “People can do whatever they want to do. Everybody’s gotta run their program the way they see fit. Satellite camps are not new. This stuff’s been going on forever. It’s just the ACC and SEC have not participated in that.

“So when the rule went national, and it got revoked or whatever, and now it’s open to everybody, that doesn’t change anything for us. What other people want to do, that’s their business. I’m going to run Clemson, and we’re focused on what we’ve got to do and the things that I believe in.”

Swinney had several reasons why his coaches won’t be involved with satellite camps. First, he wants his coaches assessing players on the Clemson campus and the high school campuses.

“Let me say that, first and foremost, to each his own,” Swinney said. “But just as a whole, I’m very much against satellite camps because I think, as football coaches, we should do everything that we can possibly do to keep our recruiting scholastic because we’re the only sport left out there that is set up that way where as all our recruiting is done on our campus and on the high school campus. I don’t think it’s good when you start getting third parties involved and things like that.”

The second reason is time management.

“I think, the other big thing, for me, is I don’t know what people are doing with their time,” Swinney said before offering a hypothetical situation. “My coaches are on the road for five weeks, five weeks, every day. Like right now, Thursday, the 12th, I’ve got all my coaches out at satellite camps, and they’re watching football practice right now. So they’re gone for five weeks. They can go anywhere they want to go. They’re watching football practices. They’re watching track meets. They’re getting grades. They’re assessing character. They’re doing all this evaluation for five weeks, and now they’re going to come off the road, and I’ve got to take them on the road again for two more weeks to do what we were supposed to be doing the last five weeks. That’s just my own personal opinion.”

Third, he wants the recruits to see the Clemson campus and see if it’s the right fit for them. Swinney said Clemson’s camps this summer will include 4,000 athletes.

“At the end of the day, for me, it all comes back to, they’ve got to come to Clemson,” Swinney said. “We’re going to go, and we’re going to evaluate, and we’re going to do all the things that we need to do as a program to assess a young man’s ability and whether or not he’s a fit for our program. But at the end of the day, they’ve got to come to Clemson, whether it’s unofficially, or they come to a camp. And if they’re not going to do that, or it’s too inconvenient to do that, then they’re not coming for four years.”

Finally, Swinney is concerned about the lack of oversight about the entire process.

“The biggest problem that I have with satellite camps is there’s no restrictions, there’s no parameters … like none,” Swinney said. “So I could go to South Beach and have a satellite camp and maybe have Beyonce performing at halftime or something. Why not? There’s no rules. There’s no parameters. So I think it’s just one of those things that eventually people will get their arms around. But it doesn’t affect us at all at Clemson.”


Swinney said wide receiver Deon Cain is back with the team after his suspension during the College Football Playoff. But Cain’s status remains under his own control and how he does things moving forward.

“All we’re doing is working out, training and skills and drills,” Swinney said. “He’s participating in all those things, and like I said the other day, as long as he continues to do what he’s been doing, when we start back practice, he will be with us. But we’ve still gotta go all through the summer, so hopefully, he’ll continue to make the right decisions and stay focused.”

If Cain is with the team this fall, he will be part of a deep and talented group at wide receiver, including Mike Williams, Artavis Scott, Hunter Renfrow, Trevion Thompson and Ray-Ray McCloud.

“It’s a great group; that’s what we’ve been building and recruiting to,” Swinney said.

“Competitive depth is what we want at every position. You want to be able to have strength in numbers. I think we have good competitive depth at every position. Even defensively, we’re going to be a little younger in some spots, but the competitive depth is much better than it was last year.

“Last year, we had depth, but it wasn’t competitive. It was simply because there was such a gap in experience. So I like that part of this team, and we’ve certainly got it at receiver.”


The ACC announced Thursday that it will have a central location for replay for football, and Swinney said the conference’s coaches favored the move.

“I think it’s fine. We were all for it as coaches,” Swinney said. “I think, at the end of the day, we just want to get it right. I don’t think anything’s really changed drastically because everybody still has replay at the site. But I think there were a few instances last year where if there had been a central command, if you will, they probably would have maybe overruled it or jumped in and gotten involved. We’ll see how it goes, but the main thing is just get it right.”

Daniel Shirley is the sports editor of The Telegraph in Macon, Ga., and co-host of The Morning Show on FoxSports 1670 AM. Follow him on Twitter at @DM_Shirley and read his blog at

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