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College athletes becoming employees is ‘worst thing’ for them, top coach says

via Clemson TigerNet
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Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney expressed disagreement with college athletes potentially being classified as employees.

A federal judge had ruled against the NCAA’s prohibition on NIL compensation being used for recruitment, and a labor board official deemed Dartmouth basketball players employees.

Swinney argued this was not ideal for 18-year-olds and preferred an emphasis on education alongside athlete compensation through models like Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) deals or enhanced scholarships.

While supportive of NIL, he noted most athletes will not play professionally and education remains important.

“The best thing for coaches in the kind of world we’re in right now is for (athletes) to be employees,” Swinney said. “The worst thing for (the athletes) is to be employees. That’s not a world we want for 18-year-olds. I think we lost our way.”

“(I) think the NIL is awesome,” he said. “I really am (for it). I am all for enhancing the scholarship however you want, but I also understand the reality that ninety-eight percent of these kids are not going to play in the NFL.”

“We need to educate our young people in this society. Nobody talks about the value of an education anymore,” he said.

Swinney floated the idea of a 401(k)-style program for athletes.

He acknowledged NIL will be a major recruiting factor going forward requiring coaches to adapt, but remained opposed to full employee status for college players.

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