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Apr 23, 2014 04:36 PM EDT

Dabo Swinney Responds to Freedom From Religion Foundation Complaint: 'Players of Any Faith or No Faith' Welcome


Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney would like to clear the air in regards to the Freedom From Religion Foundation's (FFRF) complaint that he violated the Constitution at the public university.

The FFRF accused Swinney of violating players' rights to practice religion freely by extending an offer to a team chaplain, scheduling team devotionals, "church days" and Bible studies. Swinney responded in the ACC teleconference, ESPN reported.

The chaplain, James Trapp, had access to the team to conduct the Bible studies, but Swinney did not go into further details regarding the complaint.

"We do things the right way and always have," Swinney said. "We'll continue to run the program the way we always have."

In addition to the Wednesday teleconference, Swinney issued a statement, via the South Carolina State:

"Over the past week or two, there has been a lot of discussion of my faith. We have three rules in our program that everybody must follow: (1) players must go to class, (2) they must give a good effort and (3) they must be good citizens. It is as simple as that.

"I have recruited and coached players of many different faiths. Players of any faith or no faith at all are welcome in our program. All we require in the recruitment of any player is that he must be a great player at his position, meet the academic requirements, and have good character.

"Recruiting is very personal. Recruits and their families want - and deserve - to know who you are as a person, not just what kind of coach you are. I try to be a good example to others, and I work hard to live my life according to my faith. I am proud of the great success we have had in developing good players and good men at Clemson. We win at the highest level and we graduate players who excel on the field and in life because of their time in Death Valley. I want to thank Clemson University and all the people who have reached out to offer their support and encouragement over the past few weeks."

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