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Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said on Thursday he would like to see additional changes to the college football schedule if the sport plans to expand the playoff.
Swinney and North Carolina coach Mack Brown both faced off against the proposed 12-team playoff this month after polling their players for feedback, but after a detailed presentation on the proposal from Notre Dame athletic director Jack on Wednesday. Having reviewed Swarbrick, Swinney said he sees value in the idea of whether the sport would also eliminate one game in the regular season.
“Expansion is going to happen,” Swinney said Thursday. “Now what’s the best way to do it? For me it’s driven by money and maybe it’s what the fans want, but what I do know is it’s not the best for these players. So if you have the play- offs, then we have to shorten the season. I don’t think you can have both.”
Swinney said his own experience during the College Football Playoff in each of the past five years provided ample evidence that season extensions for teams can have significant impacts on players – from their classroom work to their physical health.
“When you get to that level and that stage, you have a lot of guys who are about to play at the next level, and you say ‘it’s just one more game,'” Swinney said. “They say it so casually. ‘It’s just one more game.’ That’s a lack of understanding of what it takes to win a game at that level at that level.”
An alternative that Swinney endorsed was eliminating regular season matches against regional FCS or lower groups of 5 enemies and moving those matches to the spring.
“That would be music to my ears,” Swinney said. ‘Why can’t we play spring scrimmage? I’ve been saying that for years.’
Swinney also said he was concerned that expanding the playoffs would lead to more opt-outs and the deterioration of the bowling system. Swinney was one of several coaches on Thursday who questioned whether name, image and likeness opportunities could be better linked to bowl games to increase participation.
Swinney said he will support any playoff plan eventually elected, but he believes the long-term outcome could involve a significant realignment of the current NCAA structure.
“It will all end up in a good place eventually,” he said. “There’s probably a college football restructuring down the road — probably sooner or later.”
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