Dabo Swinney 'disappointed' in Clemson football program being referenced in hoops trial

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The federal corruption trial into college basketball is wrapping up its second week in New York, and it has dipped into the college football world a couple of times -- including a conversation caught on a wiretap that references the Clemson football program.

The conversation from July 2017 caught former Clemson basketball assistant coach Steve Smith discussing the recruitment of former Duke hoops star Zion Williamson. According to CBS Sports' Matt Norlander, Smith was talking about Clemson's recruitment of Williamson to defendant Christian Dawkins and an undercover FBI agent when he referenced how he felt Clemson's basketball recruiting methods relate to those of the football program.

"That's why football is so successful, is if you do it and use resources at Clemson, like you can really keep everything tight," Smith said.

"It's a small college town," he later said. "You can come to a game one night, after the game, you see a dude out there in a nice looking suit, you like, 'wait a minute now.'"

Prosecution witness Marty Blazer, a former financial advisor, testified: "I understood that to mean boosters would give certain things."

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney was asked Thursday to respond to the references to the football program during a booster club event in Florence, South Carolina. 

"Just disappointed because I know how we run our program," he said, according to The State. "I'm very proud of how we run our program. We've always been a program committed to doing things the right way. And we always will be."

One day after being brought up in the trial, Clemson announced that it has agreed to a 10-year, $93 million contract extension with Swinney. Since taking over in the middle of the 2008 season, Swinney has won two national championships, appeared in the College Football Playoff for four consecutive years and won five ACC titles. 

Three days before the wiretap of Smith's conversation was played in court, Blazer testified that he paid college football players from North Carolina, Penn State, Alabama, Notre Dame, Michigan, Northwestern and Pitt between 2000-14. The NCAA has not announced a formal investigation into any of the football programs mentioned in court.

College Football Writer

Barrett Sallee has been a member of the sports media in various aspects since 2001. He is currently a college football writer for CBS Sports, analyst for CBS Sports HQ and host for the SiriusXM college... Full Bio

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