We know Dabo Swinney isn’t happy about this whole letting college kids have money thing, so it makes sense that he’s indulging his inner sense of gloom and doom over the COA stipend.
“Basically, this is the way they’re getting that done, but there’s some unintended consequences. There’s no question it’s not a level playing field, and it is going to be the No. 1 topic at all the coaches meetings, because it’s not good. The intent is good, but for one school to be able to pay $3-4,000 more than another school, at the end of the day, guys are going to make decisions for the wrong reasons. It shouldn’t be that way.
“I don’t like where we are right now. We are where we are, but there has to be a better solution somewhere down the road. Eventually, we’re going to get there. It is what it is right now, and it’s going to be a factor in the recruiting process. There’s no question.”
Well, actually, Stewart Mandel has one, Dabo.
But I don’t share remotely the same concern that some do about recruiting impact. In fact, until the day comes that a recruit tells Scout.com he chose one school over another over a $3,000 scholarship gap, I’m not buying it at all. Recruits spend a year or more building relationships with coaching staffs, visiting schools, studying which have the best opportunities to play early and/or which offer the best path to the NFL. I just don’t see a kid weighing all of that, and then ultimately making his decision based on a scholarship check, even if, as you say, all other factors seem equal. I’m glad cost of attendance got passed, but my guess is a year from now, no one will still be talking about it.
If the thinking is that your average high school senior is a ruthless mercenary ready to hire himself out to the highest bidder, what’s really changing here? Schools have sold upgraded facilities to kids for years. Schools have paid recruiters more and more based on their success of selling whatever works. (And let’s not even get into what boosters have done outside of the public eye.)
All that’s going on now is that kids are going to be handed a new set of checks. If Dabo’s delicate sensitivities are offended by that, perhaps he needs to come up with a new sales pitch. And if he thinks it’s a nightmare now, best he not ponder a future in which Jeffrey Kessler kicks the NCAA’s ass.