Tigers Continue To Hit The Books
With so much money being made in college football under the sports current landscape, it is sometimes easy to forget that the players are still student athletes.
At Clemson, head coach Dabo Swinney is adamant that despite all the success on the field, his players must still put in the work in the classroom. The fact that the threat of COVID-19 has shut the campus down will not change the standard that's in place.
"The No. 1 thing is academics," Swinney said. "We've got a lot of work to do academically. Fortunately, a lot of these guys often have an online class or two so they're kind of used to that. That really wasn't a big deal for all of the classes to go to that."
Despite facing some unusual circumstances with all classes now being taken online and off campus, Swinney says the transition has gone very smoothly. Outside of a couple of minor, localized incidents, the players are adjusting well.
"The biggest thing is our tutoring," Swinney said. "And that process, because obviously those are always in-person. A few technological issues we've had to work through. Like a guy didn't have his battery charger. We've had to help a few guys we had to help with Wi-Fi. Something called a hot spot. I don't know what that is, but evidently it helps you with your Wi-Fi. But not a lot of issues. Most of these guys are well-equipped and they're ready."
In 2018, while the Tigers were winning a national title on the field, the program set records for team GPA and for the number of players with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. The 2019 team kept up that trend, and Swinney sees no reason why that should change.
"We want to have a 3.0 team GPA, and we talk about that all the time'" Swinney said. "The last two teams, '19 and '18, have had the two highest GPA's in the history of Clemson football. So we want this 2020 team to keep that momentum."
Under Swinney's guidance, the Clemson football program has garnered a reputation for producing well mannered young men, on the field and in the classroom. The Tigers head coach has made a point of reminding his players that the same standard applies in these difficult times.
"One of the things that we have really stressed with our guys is having that classroom etiquette and classroom behavior," Swinney said. "Even though you might be sitting at home, just having the proper etiquette with Zoom and being in class."
Swinney is also aware of the fact that with his players scattered out all around the country, the potential for distractions increases. However, he and the rest of the coaching staff think they have a well rounded plan in place to keep all the players in good standing grades wise.
"Our coaches have really taken ownership," Swinney said. "Of really staying on top of what our guys need to do so they aren't drifting and have a bad semester academically."