Dabo Swinney Takes Shot at Nick Saban over Alabama's Use of Apple Watches

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorApril 4, 2020

SANTA CLARA, CA - JANUARY 07: Head Coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide and Head Coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers shake hands on the field following the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Levi's Stadium on January 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, California (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Getty Images)
Michael Zagaris/Getty Images

Alabama football has implemented the use of Apple Watches to track player training in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused schools to shut down their offseason workout programs.

That brings up the question of whether the practice violates the NCAA's Division I COVID-19 Question and Answer Guide, which states that teams "may not supervise or conduct such workouts" and that student-athletes "may not report voluntary athletically related activities to institutional coaches or staff members," via ESPN's Mark Schlabach.

The SEC is reportedly exploring whether the Crimson Tide will be allowed to continue their usage. But as far as Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney is concerned, the Apple Watches shouldn't be allowed.

"I don't know, maybe [Alabama] got a different interpretation or something," Swinney said on a Friday conference call, per Schlabach. "There are a lot of different interpretations out there right now."

Per ESPN's David Hale, Swinney also said "we don't need an Apple Watch to know our guys are doing the right thing."

An Alabama spokesman told Schlabach that director of sports medicine Jeff Allen is the only person reviewing the players' information. 

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"The SEC is aware that Alabama provided Apple Watches to some of our student-athletes," Matt Self, Alabama's senior associate athletics director for compliance, said. "We are in constant communication with the SEC discussing the appropriate manner in which to utilize these and any other resources to provide for the health and well-being of our student-athletes during this crisis."

The Tide have faced Clemson in the championship game three times in the past five years, with the Tigers winning two of those contests. Last season, Alabama missed the College Football Playoff for the first time since its inception in 2014. 

Alabama's 2020 opener is scheduled for Sept. 5 against USC, while Clemson's is set for Sept. 3 against Georgia Tech.         

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