Clemson and Alabama have what’s long seemed to be a respectful rivalry between champions. Bama alum Dabo Swinney and Tide coach Nick Saban have talked countless times about their friendship and admiration for each other. The two have different styles, but they’re unquestionably the two most dominant coaches doing it right now.
So this is some spice, relatively speaking, from Clemson receiver Hunter Renfrow. Just the possibility that he’s accusing Bama of something negative is a relative stunner. Following Clemson’s National Championship romp, Sports Illustrated reports Renfrow said:
“Coach Swinney has built it on fun, and obviously Coach Saban has built it on a process,” Renfrow said. “I’m just so proud of being at a place like Clemson, where I feel like we’ve done it the right way. If we’re supposed to have only five guys on the field as coaches, we’re making sure we have five. We’re not doing it the wrong way and we’re having fun doing it.”
That bolding is mine.
You can be the judge of whether Renfrow is accusing Alabama of breaking NCAA rules about on-field coaching staff sizes.
I’m only going to note a few things:
- The NCAA allows FBS teams to have up to 10 “assistant coaches.”
- With certain exceptions, no coach outside the head coach and those 10 assistants “may participate in any manner in the coaching of the intercollegiate team of a member institution during any football game, practice or other organized activity,” per the NCAA.
- Clemson has exactly five offensive assistant coaches.
- Alabama is famous for hiring legions of non-coaching staff members as “analysts” who aren’t technically allowed to do on-field coaching. Good luck to anyone trying to enforce that rule at Alabama or any other school (including Clemson) with an armada of staffers.
Who knows! Maybe Renfrow is just deeply passionate about Clemson’s culture of compliance.
No matter what, this will not be the worst thing Renfrow did to Alabama during his (estimated) 12-year career at Clemson.
That was the worst thing he did to Bama.