Swinney responds to UCLA QB's academics comments
|2017-08-15 16:17:18.0- -||
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney addressed comments Tuesday made by UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen on academics and college football.
Last week, Rosen told the Bleacher Report that playing major college football and going to school was like having two full-time jobs. To a question referencing Clemson's Deshaun Watson and Artavis Scott graduating early, Rosen said "I'm not knocking what those guys accomplished. They should be applauded for that. But some schools are easier than others."
Swinney appeared on The Rich Eisen Show Tuesday afternoon and was asked about Rosen's thoughts on juggling football and school.
"If someone thinks it’s just too much to do both, that’s certainly an opinion and I respect everybody’s opinion," Swinney told Eisen. "When people don’t value the college experience … you don’t have to do it. I don’t know. It’s an interesting topic for sure ... I know this – there’s incredible value in a young person earning their degree and the work ethic, discipline and sacrifice you have to have to be a student-athlete.
"It is really, really tough, but I know this – pretty much anything great in life is tough."
On the topic, Swinney said he couldn't forecast where college football was headed, mentioning a potential NFL minor league system or opening pro eligibility to play without a college experience.
The ninth-year head coach said he's as proud of academic success at Clemson as anything and values the student-athlete experience as a former walk-on who earned a scholarship at Alabama.
"That’s just my personal opinion from experience having been a player and coached for many years," Swinney said. "I’m very proud of the guys who have gone through our program. Even last year, there were 100-something juniors that entered the draft and only eight of them had a degree and four of those eight were from Clemson: Mike Williams, Wayne Gallman, Deshaun Watson and Artavis Scott."
Swinney says those four former Tigers are examples of a program-wide philosophy.
"It’s certainly a culture we have here that we’re proud of and our guys buy into that," he said. "They understand the value of getting their education and we try to teach that you’re only going to play football for a very short time and a few of you are going to get to play after Clemson.
"Even those guys, you’re not going to play long. We try to make that (academics) a real priority. Our guys have bought into that over the last eight years and I think that’s why we’ve been one of the best in the country academically."
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