One of the big controversies yesterday revolved around our starting Quarterback and Clemson transfer, Kelly Bryant. The Clemson Tigers were National Champions last year and head coach Dabo Swinney opted not to include Bryant in the players who received a championship ring.
I’ll start with this, I’ve never found Dabo Swinney particularly likable. He plays the role of this sort-of fun southerner to combat the deep seriousness of Nick Saban. I find it corny and completely unbelievable. He’s as arrogant and full of himself as anyone in college sports, and he’s said awful things about what he’d do if the players were able to earn money off their likenesses. As a multi-millionaire profiting off the backs of unpaid people you treat like employees, I kind of think that attitude really sucks. So, I’m already starting this off from a place of not really liking much of anything Dabo has to say.
With that said, let’s lead with the opposition, friend of the site C-dot Harrison:
Absolutely. At worst, Dabo should let the team decide if Bryant should get a ring or not. https://t.co/C7vkb0PKF3— Carrington Harrison (@cdotharrison) August 8, 2019
I’m going to stick with C-dot here for a minute...
Saying Bryant quit is intellectually dishonest. Playing another game at Clemson would’ve ended his college eligibility for a team who had moved on at the position. Transferring was the best decision and really only decision. Bryant should be rewarded for his hard work. https://t.co/00JrHGNHjQ— Carrington Harrison (@cdotharrison) August 8, 2019
700 people got World Series rings in 2015 when the Royals won. 58 players got full playoff shares.— Carrington Harrison (@cdotharrison) August 8, 2019
So to answer your question, yes they do. https://t.co/Upoz2ZcV6g
Carrington makes a lot of good points, and it’s why, if I have to pick a side, it’s the side I’m going to come down on.
I phrase it that way because it’s really hard to care about whether or not Bryant got a championship ring. I do know one side I don’t come down on and it’s this one:
The idea that Kelly Bryant deserves a national championship ring from Clemson is the most "everyone gets a trophy" nonsense I've ever seen.— Ira Schoffel (@IraSchoffel) August 8, 2019
Dabo gave championship rings to boosters, baseball teams give rings to basically everyone associated with the franchise— this isn’t anything close to the everyone gets a trophy deal. If anything, Dabo giving boosters rings is everyone gets a trophy. Kelly Bryant was more responsible for the Tigers 4-0 start than 75% of his roster, and without Bryant providing a soft entry for Trevor Lawrence , he may not have been the star down the stretch he proved to be.
This ultimately comes down to responsibility. Bryant was responsible for Clemson’s success last season as much as a lot of people who got rings. However, it makes a lot of sense to not give a guy a championship ring who left the team on his own accord. My only problem with it mostly comes down to how Dabo has handled it. It was his decision to strip his senior starting quarterback of his starter duties and hand them over to a true freshman. Did he make the right decision? I mean they won, so I guess. But the way Clemson played down the stretch and in the Championship game against Alabama, I’m not sure Lawrence was the difference.
I guess I just have a problem with a guy who signed a near $100 million contract acting like he was the victim when he pushed Bryant to the side and seemed upset that Bryant wanted to play football. I honestly don’t see a real reason Bryant deserves a ring, but it’s way better PR if Swinney at least would’ve made an effort to find out if Bryant would’ve wanted one.
Here’s the best part of this whole discussion and maybe I’ve missed it... but has anyone actually asked Kelly Bryant what he thinks? I’m sure we’ll get an answer from Bryant soon, but overall it’s basically a controversy born of nothing and made worse by Dabo’s overwhelming arrogance.