After exiting spring practice, Dabo Swinney and the Clemson Tigers face a pretty concerning situation regarding their roster. While the NCAA only allows players to have 85 scholarship players on their roster by the beginning of fall camp, Clemson currently has 88. That means that some players will either have to transfer, or Clemson will have to pull scholarships from players who have already earned them.
During a press conference this week, Dabo Swinney addressed the situation, revealing that if some players don’t transfer by August, the team will start pulling scholarships from former walk-ons who earned the scholarships during their Clemson careers.
“We didn’t anticipate seven seniors coming back,” Swinney said according to On3. “I told Tyler Davis today, ‘If you had told me this time last year that I would be meeting with you again, I would have said, sign me up for that.’ Obviously, Sheridan [Jones] and [Jalyn Phillips] and Ruke [Orhorhoro] and [Will] Putnam and [Xavier Thomas] and [Justin] Mascoll and those guys coming back put us over. We do a good job of managing our roster, but that put us over. Unfortunately, we always have a couple of walk-ons that deserve a scholarship sometimes you have one, and sometimes you have none and sometimes you have a couple. Last year we were able to put [Holden] Caspersen, the snapper on. He deserves it.
“Hunter Helms, and then Domonique Thomas. Those are three guys that came here as walk-ons, and all of those guys we felt earned scholarships. But in a situation like this, that is where you would have to start. Who knows, though, what will happen? We have until August. Somebody may leave, I don’t know. We’ve got a plan and we will be at 85 when we get to September.”
It’s certainly a controversial move to pull a scholarship from a player, but sometimes that happens in modern college football.