Kelly Bryant Is Transferring From Clemson After Losing His Starting Spot, And (Wrongfully) Called The Move A "Slap In The Face"
Let me start by saying that I don't expect a 22 year old kid who has had a hell of a lot of success at the highest level of college sports to immediately respond to his mid-season demotion in a matter of fact manner. The stats could be making the most damning argument of all time (they pretty much do) and Kelly Bryant, or anyone even remotely as competitive as him, would still debate them passionately enough to leave Will Ferrell's character in Old School speechless. Athletes are an emotional bunch, and that goes ten-fold for those that are both young and near the top of their craft. Therefore, it doesn't come as a huge surprise that Clemson's starting quarterback didn't totally take his finish as such in stride.
That said, the fact of the matter is that the aggrieved party was replaced a top the depth chart by an objectively superior player, and - in the rarest of rare occasions - it actually came at a time that was, believe it or not, convenient to the student athlete instead of those profiting off his efforts. Simply put, what Kelly Bryant got what was the fairest shot possible in a sport that is institutionally unfair. Comparatively speaking, if having the chance to lead a team into National Championship contention for 18 games before being given the opportunity to choose from the pick of the litter in finishing off his highly accomplished college career is a "slap in the face" then the ringer that those who have came before him have been put through is basically a bullet to the scrotum. If anything, I'd call the reality check that Kelly Bryant was just offered a splash of cold water to the face, as it's nothing more than a shocking reminder that sports are often merciless in being a meritocracy.
I hate to say it, as I typically side with those who are not getting paid handsomely for their successes on Saturday's, but Dabo Swinney is right. It's not middle school. Other than room and board, Kelly Bryant was owed absolutely nothing. Yet, somehow, he still got a massive parting gift as he conceded his starting position. That gift was a red shirt that will come in handy as he looks to prove what most people readily accept, which is that he's more than good enough to fill the role of QB1 for approximately 90% of the schools in the NCAA. I totally understand why he might not consider himself lucky now, but - seeing as he was going to lose his job regardless - hopefully in time he realizes that he basically hit the college football equivalent of the lottery in being the first to benefit from a long overdue rule change.