Dabo Swinney's new contract includes an unusual provision that would add as much as $2 million to his buyout should he leave to take a job at Alabama, but the Clemson coach told ESPN he doesn't spend time pondering a future at his alma mater.
"People always like to say one plus one equals two, and it's a simple thing," Swinney said of the speculation he would be Nick Saban's eventual replacement at Alabama. "I don't pay any attention. I was at Alabama 13 years. I love Alabama and always will. That won't change. But I'm going on my 17th year at Clemson, my 11th as head coach. I love where I am, love what I do."
Swinney, who grew up in Pelham, Alabama, played for the Crimson Tide as a walk-on wide receiver and later worked as an assistant under Gene Stallings and Mike DuBose. He has toppled his alma mater in the College Football Playoff national championship game in two of the past three seasons and was rewarded for that success this month with a 10-year, $93 million contract that makes him the highest-paid coach in college football, edging Saban's average annual value by about $750,000.
Included in the new contract, however, is a clause that would add to any buyout should Swinney opt to leave for Alabama. His standard buyout is $4 million through 2020, $3 million from 2021-22, $2 million from 2023-25 and $1 million beyond that. He would owe an extra 50 percent should he depart for the Crimson Tide.