Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said “it’s a shame” the media tried to divert attention away from Clemson’s 56-7 victory against South Carolina by reporting on Gamecocks’ players charges of racial slurs.
“I give young people some grace,” Swinney said at his weekly news conference on Tuesday. “They’ll say some things from time to time. My problem is with the media people. I don’t give them much grace. They don’t give me none either.”
USC linebacker Bryson Allen-Willams said after the game in a video interview that a Clemson player “used the n-word, one of their offensive linemen. I don’t know which number.”
USC wide receiver Terry Googer and defensive lineman Dante Sawyer also referenced racial slurs in postgame tweets, with Googer saying what he heard came from fans.
Sawyer had tweeted “racism still alive in Clemson i see.. classless ..., still calling people (racial slur) is crazy.”
Swinney said during Sunday's teleconference he questioned his players and was told the accusation was “absolutely false.”
Clemson offensive lineman Jay Guillermo, meeting with the media on Tuesday, explained why he contacted Sawyer after the game.
“We had just talked about it and I let him know that that’s not what we do. If anything was said, that’s not how we are, not what we are as an offensive line, a team, university. We have a good culture around here, a really classy culture,” Guillermo said. “That’s something Coach Swinney really prides himself on is recruiting good people, having good people here, and we do have good people here at Clemson. What was said between me and him (Sawyer), we’ll keep it between us.”
Guillermo said Sawyer was appreciative of him reaching out.
Swinney, meanwhile, said the media is all about “headlines.”
“Shoot first, ask questions later. That’s the mentality we have now in the media,” Swinney said. “Instead of the headline being 23-1 in the last two years, instead of the headline being the seniors winning their 46th game and instead of the headline being the largest margin of victory ever against an SEC team and one of the most dominating performances ever, the headline is what someone said?
“Give me a break. Again, I’ll give grace to young people. But for the adults who will take anything and go and write and spin it and headline it the way they want it to get people to click on it? Man, shame on them. That’s the world we live in. That’s sad. A lot of those people should be fired. They should be fired. People with a microphone can say what they want to say.”
ACC title game
Who: Clemson vs. Virginia Tech
When: 8 p.m., Saturday
Where: Orlando, Fla.
Line: Clemson by 10 1/2