Dabo Swinney holds court, declares 'football matters' in State House speech

Published: Feb. 28, 2017 at 4:14 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 28, 2017 at 7:05 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - In a speech that was part sermon, part celebration, and all vintage Dabo, Clemson Tigers coach Dabo Swinney had South Carolina lawmakers eating from the palm of his hand as legislators honored the 2016 National Champions.

Just after noon Tuesday, lawmakers brought the 2016 Tigers football team to the State House to receive honors for their victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide earlier this year in the College Football Playoff National Championship.

RELATED: See photos of Clemson's victory in the National Championship.

Swinney spoke to the joint session of the General Assembly for just over 15 minutes and delivered a message that football could be a powerful, changing force in the lives of not only athletes but the country at large.

"Football matters," Swinney said. "It matters. I tell people all the time when I go speak. Football matters. It's one of the last great positive influences in young people's lives. They don't get it in their music, their social media. They don't get it in a lot of other areas, but in the game of football, it's still hard work."

The celebration was all part of what was dubbed "Clemson Day" at the State House.

Several lawmakers authored a resolution to honor the Clemson football teams.

"A concurrent resolution to congratulate the Clemson University football team and coaches for winning the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship title, to recognize the team's numerous accomplishments during the season, to invite the number one ranked Tigers and Clemson officials to join the General Assembly in joint session at noon on Tuesday, February 28, 2017, whereby coach Dabo Swinney is invited to address the joint session, and to extend the privilege of the floor during the joint session."

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