Dabo Swinney is now the highest-paid coach in college football.
Swinney and Clemson have agreed to a 10-year contract extension worth $93 million. The total value of Swinney’s contract surpasses the $75 million over 10 years that Texas A&M gave Jimbo Fisher a year ago and averages out to more per year than the $8.3 million Alabama coach Nick Saban made in 2018.
Swinney’s contract now runs through the 2028 season. Remember, there is not enough money in college sports for the players to get paid.
“Dabo’s leadership of our football program has brought value, exposure and unprecedented levels of success not only to our athletics program but to the entire university,” Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich said in a statement. “He has demonstrated the ability to consistently achieve at the highest level on and off the field, and he has done so with a commitment to integrity and core principles. This new agreement is evidence of Clemson’s steadfast commitment to Dabo and to our football program, and we are thrilled that he and his family will be a part of our community for years to come.”
Swinney will make $8.25 million in 2019 and 2020. The contract, which certainly will not see its conclusion in current form, escalates his salary over the next years and he’s set to get $10 million over the last two seasons of the deal.
3 first-round picks in 2019, 2 titles in 3 seasons
Swinney’s Clemson team beat Saban’s Alabama team in January’s National Championship Game. Clemson is the only team outside of Alabama to win multiple national titles in the last 10 seasons.
Clemson had three defensive linemen — Clelin Ferrell (No. 4, Oakland), Christian Wilkins (No. 13, Miami), and Dexter Lawrence (No. 17, New York Giants) — selected in the first round of the 2019 NFL draft Thursday night.
“I am grateful and humbled by the incredible commitment Clemson has made to me, my family and our football program,” Swinney said. “For more than a decade, we have given our all to provide this world-class university and our incredible fans the championship football program they deserve – to live up to ‘Best is the Standard.’ With this contract, we make a collective statement that we intend to continue pursuing championships and developing total student-athletes for years to come.”
Since players can’t get paid per NCAA rules, Swinney is worth the money to Clemson. Successful football programs bring in tens of millions of dollars in revenue. If anything, Swinney is underpaid relative to the value of the success of Clemson’s football program.
College football players are, of course, underpaid as well. As college coaching contracts get larger and larger, the absurdity that is the NCAA’s definition of amateurism gets more and more exposed. The NCAA can’t allow players to get endorsement money soon enough.
And hopefully Swinney’s thoughts on players getting paid have changed as well. In 2015, he said that players getting paid would make him find a new job.
“As far as paying players, professionalizing college athletics, that’s where you lose me,” Swinney said back then. “I’ll go do something else because there’s enough entitlement in this world as there is.”
Much to the delight of Clemson fans, Swinney isn’t going to be doing anything else for a while.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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