Swinney on his disrespect comments: "My job is to speak the truth"
|Sunday, December 1, 2019, 7:49 PM- -|
Dabo Swinney is not done taking up for his team.
Clemson’s head coach made waves following Saturday’s win over South Carolina when he said that Clemson doesn’t get the same credit that other teams across the country receive, much of it because the ACC is perceived as weak. He didn’t hold back on Sunday’s ACC Championship Game teleconference, saying that people used whatever agenda they want to discredit the Tigers’ success.
“I'm not going to let anybody diminish what's been accomplished by our program, first of all, because it's incredible,” Swinney said. “Again, even going back to ACC Media Days, I made the comment then: we used to couldn't win in the postseason because we didn't play people, now we only win because we don't play people. It's just the same old storyline, people just flip it around to whatever their agenda they want to have. My job is to speak the truth and stand up for this program when I feel like it's necessary.”
Swinney then listed his program’s accomplishments.
“What's been accomplished by this group is unbelievable. I mean, it's incredible,” he said. “They've won 27 games in a row, won four conference titles in a row with a chance for a fifth. They've been in four playoffs, won two out of the last three national championships, and have beaten the best of the best to do it, period.”
Part of Swinney’s ire might stem from the fact that Clemson players aren’t receiving national recognition in the form of award watch lists.
“People who have not focused on what Travis Etienne has done, what Trevor Lawrence has done. People still want to talk about you threw a few interceptions at the beginning of the year. It's a joke,” Swinney said. “It's a joke. It doesn't even make any sense. What these receivers have done, what this defense has done, it's incredible. It's just really incredible. These players, they deserve that credit.”
Swinney said his answer Saturday was in response to a question that asked if the Clemson versus South Carolina rivalry had any relevance nationally.
“I just answered the guy's question because he asked if it meant anything nationally. What are you talking about? Yeah, it's a huge game, has a lot of national relevance for us,” Swinney said. “If we lose, they want to throw us out because they don't respect who we play, which is another joke of itself. I think we got, what, 10 bowl teams again this year. It's a very competitive league. It proves itself out year in and year out. Just really proud of what's been accomplished to this point. It's our fourth 12-0 season in the history of our school.
“More importantly what we've been able to do off the field alongside the success on the field. Eight out of the last nine years top 10 academically, us, Duke and Northwestern. Just the consistency of being committed to excellence, doing the things right on and off the field, it's just a blessing to be able again to have a front-row seat to it all. People that haven't watched us or paid attention, they've missed a special time and a special group of young people that play with passion, unbelievable belief, will to win, and selflessness. It's incredible to watch.”