Originally posted on Rumors and Rants  |  Last updated 2/20/12

Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney has (kind of) followed in the footsteps of Georgia head coach Mark Richt and used his own money to compensate his assistant coaches.

Swinney is using $265,000 of the raise he is due for winning the ACC and putting it toward paying his assistant coaches more. Apparently, this doesn’t happen very often in college football, but Swinney apparently felt he needed to enhance his coaches’ salaries a little more for whatever reason. Plus, it’s a nice symbol of his “investment” in the Clemson program.

The only difference between Swinney and Richt is that Swinney “allocated” the money before it was actually paid to him. He basically told the university to take his raise and distribute it between several assistant coaches. Richt, on the other hand, took money that had already been paid to him and then gave it to his coaches, thereby creating several minor NCAA violations.

Richt’s violations included a time in which he paid several non-football coaches because the university was experiencing “difficult economic conditions.” In other words, he did what the university should have done.

But why is this happening? Because this is probably not the last time something like this will make the press.

The short answer seem to be that a FBS football program is getting more expensive to run every year. The salaries of the best assistant coaches have begun creeping into the million-dollar range. Recruiting is an ever more expansive operation for the richest schools, even in the mail department.

This is a result of the incredible advertising, sponsorship, and ticket proceeds universities make every fall with their marquee programs. The coaches who make it happen are going to want a larger slice of the pie as profits continue to go up. Plus, it’s not like universities are going to just willingly give more money to assistant coaches or players they see as replaceable commodities.

It’s also good press for the coaches who give their own personal money to others and pretend it’s out of pure generosity. Okay, maybe I’m being a little cynical, but Dabo Swinney could have kept this secret if he’d wanted to.

Whatever the cause, expect to see it more often from now on.

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