Transfer Portal Will Not Change Swinney

Zach Lentz

CLEMSON — Two season's ago, the Tigers saw the new NCAA Transfer Portal hit close to home when former Tiger quarterback Kelly Bryant announced he would transfer out of the program after losing the starting job in Week 4. Since that time the Tigers have seen the 'portal' claim it's share of players, as 10 former Tigers have since left the Tiger program.

The transfer portal is, "a database of every player who has interest in transferring from his or her current school." The portal includes every collegiate sport and allows other schools to initiate contact.

This allows players to publicly seek a new school without being blocked by their coaches or administrators.

All a player has to do to enter the portal is to go to their compliance department, let them know their intentions to transfer and the school must enter their name into the portal.

The new world of the transfer portal has caused many coaches around the country to juggle their roster to keep prize recruits happy, veterans happy and every one copacetic in a world of play early or else.

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, who even after losing a quarterback midseason, is not changing anything about the way he runs the program and manages his players.

"I don't really try to handle that. I just run the team and do what's best for the team," Swinney said. "If someone decides to leave — I never thought about it last year. People gave me credit and said I was just a nice guy. I hadn't thought about Kelly leaving until he came in here and said he was leaving. I just did what I thought was right for the team."

Swinney never once badmouthed Bryant or said anything negative, instead he opted to be as transparent as he could about how difficult the decision to bench Bryant was.

“I hate being in that situation but that is my job,” Swinney said. “My job is to critique, judge, evaluate, hold people accountable, be fair, and do what is right. That doesn’t make it easier but what we are doing this weekend is what’s right.”

“If I was worried about that or I was deceitful in some way or something like that, I could have huddled the coaches and said hey let’s make sure we start him for Syracuse that way he has got no options. That’s not how I operate. I don’t think like that. I don’t operate that way. I’m just trying to do what’s right. I’m not ever doing to apologize for that. We talked about lots of things."

Swinney may be the old-school coach in this new wild, wild West world of college sports. But that is OK with him.

"Certainly some schools say let's make sure we play these guys (for four games), but I don't think that way," Swinney said. "Sometimes doing what's right isn't the easiest thing to do. I just want to play the guys who deserve to play. So I don't really have a plan (to handle that). If someone wants to leave, you just deal with it and you keep moving forward.

"I don't have anyone that I know of. I guess someone could walk in here tomorrow or at any time. Who knows."