One of the largest atheist organizations in the United States announced their plan to file a lawsuit against Clemson University over the alleged influence of head football coach Dabo Swinney on the Christian faith of student athletes.
"We have concerns about how that program is being conducted. The university needs to appropriately monitor religious activity in the program," said Patrick Elliott, Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) attorney. "They need to stop doing church day. They need to cease having coaches in team prayer. And don't know the status of their chaplaincy."
Breitbart News published that FFRF has presented Clemson a list of concerns related to the Christian culture prevalent in the football program. The Wisconsin-based advocacy group insists that students should choose their own religion, and it should not be imposed by the university.
Elliot pleaded that Clemson University should stop doing their Bible studies, devotions and other church services.
As a response to the FFRF complains, Clemson University issued a preliminary response to the group on April 17. The document answers the charges and expresses support for Swinney's leadership.
Swinney, who named as the Paul "Bear" Bryant coach of the year, asserted that he would not change Clemson's football program based on FFRF recommendations. The coach said students have only three rules to follow in the program. First, they must go to class on a regular basis, they must be good citizens of America, and lastly, they should give their full effort in every game.
Clemson University ranked as the 21st best national public university by U.S.News & World Report.
By looking at the history of athletics program in universities, it shows Christian-based programs are praised in every way. In the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, legendary UCLA basketball Coach John Wooden received good comments for incorporating Christian values in his basketball program.
Meanwhile, Clemson's Dabo Swinney has won the Paul "Bear" Bryant coach of the year award on Wednesday. The coach received the award one night after he won the American Football Coaches Association National Coach of the Year Award in San Antonio.
The Tigers were undefeated until losing to Alabama 45-40 on Monday. The team has now 14-1 win-loss record, which is one of the best in school history.
Swiney finished his seventh full season as the Tigers head coach with a 75-27 record.