Swinney talks extension, Watkins, Big 12 rumors - FOX Carolina 21

Swinney talks extension, Watkins, Big 12 rumors

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Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney talks to the media after a game. (File/FOX Carolina) Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney talks to the media after a game. (File/FOX Carolina)
CLEMSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney talked about a lot of hot topics for Tigers fans Tuesday afternoon.

The press caught Swinney outside his summer football camp and quizzed him about everything from the rumors of Clemson moving to the Big 12 Conference to the controversy surrounding standout Sammy Watkins.

To start, Swinney talked about his recent contract extension, keeping him with the Tigers until 2017 and paying him just under $2 million per season. He said the deal shows Clemson's commitment to the players, its fans and future recruits.

When asked about the speculation that Clemson may move from the Atlantic Coast Conference to the Big 12, Swinney said that would be a bad idea.

"In my opinion, going to the Big 12 would be the worst thing we could do as a football program," Swinney said. "It makes zero sense. I mean, we are the ACC. This is a program (that) just won the ACC. We've won it more than any team in this conference. We can fulfill every goal and dream we have, right here in this conference."

Swinney said the rumors have forced him to re-recruit players.

About Sammy Watkins, Swinney said he has not made a decision on what discipline he will face.

On May 4, Watkins, 18, was charged with possession of a controlled substance and simple possession of marijuana, both misdemeanors. Additionally, Amadou Dia, 18, a member of the men's soccer team, was charged with simple possession of marijuana.

Watkins' attorney, former Solicitor Bob Ariail, said recently released video of the arrests shows that his client was not under the influence of drugs or impaired.

"I'm not going to make any decision until closer to playing time," Swinney said. "The main reason for that is, Sammy has a process that he's got to deal with; some things he's got to fulfill this summer. A lot of it will depend on how he does, how he responds. So far, he's hit a home run."

Watkins has applied for the pre-trial intervention program, which could lead to his charges being dismissed.

Clemson begins its football season Sept. 1 against Auburn in Atlanta.

Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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