Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said he wouldn’t change procedures after the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s letter of complaint expressing concerns about the football program’s connection to the coach’s Christian religion.
The watchdog group sent its complaints this month. According to the foundation, Swinney has promoted a culture in the program that promotes Christianity and violates constitutional guidelines against publicly funded institutions endorsing religion or engaging in religious exercises
Swinney said he recruits players of all religions to the team and believes prospects and their families deserve to know the type of person a coach is beyond the football field.
“Players of any faith or no faith at all are welcome in our program. All we require in the recruitment of any player is that he must be a great player at his position, meet the academic requirements, and have good character,” Swinney said in a statement.
The foundation said in a letter sent by the group’s staff attorney Patrick Elliott that Swinney selected James Trapp as team chaplain, which it said violated Clemson’s guidelines. Other violations the group cited were Trapp having an office in an athletic building and being given access to the “entire football team in between drills for the purpose of Bible study.”
The foundation also said Swinney and staff members were coercive when asking the entire team to attend a Fellowship of Christian Athletes breakfast in 2011, taking the team and staff to church services as it says occurred several times or organizing team devotionals.
Swinney says he tries to set a good example and will continue to live by his faith. He’s proud of what Clemson has accomplished since he took over as head coach in 2008.
“We win at the highest level and we graduate players who excel on the field and in life because of their time in Death Valley,” he said.
Let us cover Coach Swinney in our prayers.We need more like him! Amen! We surely do need more Coach Swinney’s to get this Country back for God.