Swinney not a fan of "stupid" rule changes, coaches who hire unethically
|Tuesday, April 18, 2017, 8:17 AM- -|
CLEMSON – The NCAA announced sweeping rules changes last week aimed at further legislating the recruiting process, and Clemson head coach Swinney is not a fan of part of the package of reforms he calls “stupid.”
The NCAA Division I Council on Friday passed Proposal No. 2016-116, a comprehensive package of rule changes developed in response to an order from the NCAA Division I board of directors that revamps early official visits, places limits on hiring individuals associated with recruits and affects three other key areas of the football recruiting process. It also allows for a 10th full-time assistant coach, which will become effective on Jan. 9th of 2018.
One of the rules: Hiring family members or those closely associated with a recruit is prohibited for a two-year period before and after the student’s anticipated and actual enrollment at the school. Men's basketball adopted a similar move in 2010.
Swinney hired two high school coaches in 2016 – Grayson’s Mickey Conn and Northwestern’s Kyle Richardson were hired as analysts (not full-time field coaches). However, some college football programs (most notably Jim Harbaugh at Michigan) have come under fire for hiring “handlers” or “mentors” or coaches of high-profile recruits in an effort to gain a presumed advantage in the recruiting process. (Satellite camps will also be banned, another shot at Harbaugh’s tactics).
Harbaugh attempted to hire Michael Johnson, Sr., back in February. Johnson was the head coach The King Academy in California, but he is also the father of 4-star quarterback prospect Michael Johnson, Jr. Senior eventually wound up at Oregon under new head coach Willie Taggart. But Harbaugh also hired linebacker Devin Bush Jr.'s father as an analyst in 2016. Harbaugh hired current linebackers coach Chris Partridge -- a high school coach at the alma mater of Jabrill Peppers and Rashan Gary -- in 2015. He also hired Gwen Bush -- a "recruiting administrator" and the mother of now former Michigan safety Wayne Lyons.
Swinney says the coaches who don’t do things the right way caused a rule change he doesn’t like.
“Aw, that's stupid. Stupid. Makes zero sense. I have beat that drum to death,” Swinney said. “That is why I flew from the National Championship to Nashville, with no sleep, and was at a meeting at 7 a.m. on Wednesday morning because I wanted to be there. I don't think it's fair to complain if you don't show up. I wanted to be there to voice my opinion.”
Swinney said the rules changes hurt his high school camp which is held each June. At the camp, many of the coaches are high school coaches who are paid a small stipend for their time. Now, those coaches can’t be hired because of people “who don’t do things the right way.”
“You guys have seen our camps. We run a football camp,” Swinney said. “We don't do combines - we coach football, and I have unbelievable relationships with high school coaches who don't have a prospect and probably never will have a prospect, and man they come and work our camp every summer, and it's one of the things they love to do. And now they can't do that? Because you have some people, who don't do things the right way. There are other ways to say, ok, you can only pay them so much. That's what we do - we pay them all the same. Just do things the right way and enforce the rules that are in place. It's disappointing. And I wanted to be a voice for the high school coaches that love to come work the camps and the results that come from that.”
Swinney then pointed to the example of former Clemson graduate assistant Joe Craddock, who is now the offensive coordinator at SMU under former offensive coordinator Chad Morris.
“Joe Craddock, who is the offensive coordinator at SMU right now wouldn't be there (under the new rules). Here is a young guy who is a high school coach that worked my camp, and I had a G.A. get a job over the summer,” Swinney said. “And I was like, you know what. I like this kid. I told him I wanted him to be my offensive G.A. and he comes and takes the job. I remember to this day, I took him over to Chad Morris' house and said, ‘Chad I want you to meet your new G.A.’ He had no clue. And then when Chad gets a job he takes and makes him the offensive coordinator. And he wouldn't have had that opportunity if he hadn't been able to work my camp.”
Swinney’s current defensive line coach first came to Swinney’s while working the June camps.
“Todd Bates - he was a college coach - but I had the chance to see him work our camp for three years,” Swinney said. “I have had guys that have come and work this camp for the 14 years I've been there, and now they can't do that? Now the high school coaches can't bring them but a third-party can. It's disappointing, too, because we had 4,000 campers last year and that's a lot of people, and we needed that help. And now we have to find people. I am one hundred percent against it.”