Dabo Swinney’s culture has been written about in length, as has the coaching carousel, the transfer portal and the future of the Clemson program going forward. From the outside looking in, one might feel like things surrounding this program is bordering chaos. Or is it actually calm in the face of change?
It seems, from a fan perspective, the program is under attack from all fronts. A difficult season, unfulfilled expectations, possible coaching changes, daily escapes through the transfer portal, huge number of injured players and the likely departure of the athletic director tends to yield such chaos. None of these things, separately, would create chaos. However, taken in totality, fans are a bit overwhelmed.
From a different perspective, these situations are a natural by-product of success. A purge, or a trimming of the fat, is not drama for dramas sake sake, but rather an orchestrated chaos and the leadership seems unfazed. They’re going about their business, the normal day-to-day task of recruiting and building for next year. It should give those on the outside looking in, a sense of calm.
There’s a Rudyard Kipling poem that say’s “if you can keep you head, while those around you lose theirs, then in essence, you’re a leader.” Swinney lives that axiom, he’s clearly still in control.
Those watching, reading, believing everything floating around social media about Clemson are clearly losing their minds. It’s a barrage of post that are based on half-truths, pure conjecture and some absolutely irresponsible lies on the part of those seeking to create clicks/views for one site or another. Theses sites, in essence are creating chaos for their own benefit. Nothing more, nothing less. For example, some are pushing that Drake will be announcing Swinney on Saturday as Oklahoma’s new head coach.
Fans have got to make a decision over the next few weeks. To believe those lies, half-truths and therefore adding to the chaos. Or, they could follow the example of calm by those “in the know” and let this process take its natural course and just let things play themselves out.
That sounds almost too easy but it won’t be. Nothing this year surrounding this team has been easy. It’s going to be frustrating at times. However, that really is the only option us fans have. Shocking, I know but fans are not part of this process, they are powerless. That might prove to be the hardest job of all.
Athletic directors can be replaced. I suspect the new AD is already on staff, just a few doors down the hall from where Dan Radakovich sits. It should be a seamless process. Coaches, no matter how valuable they are can be replaced, it’s the nature of the business. Players, thanks to the transfer portal, can move freely, without any punitive consequences. Coaches leave and move on. Trimming the fat is a natural part a healthy program.
By taking this view, it’s easy to understand why there is such calmness exhibited by those in the know. Simply put, fans can either embrace the calm or add to the chaos. It’s a personal choice, we all process things differently but no amount of angst, frustration or fear is going to change anything. Clearly, even though personnel changes happen, players will leave. Clemson will not just survive, it will thrive. We’ve got to wait, have faith and give trust to those in control.