The nation's largest atheist organization says it's planning to file a lawsuit against Clemson University over the alleged influence of head football coach Dabo Swinney's Christian faith on the school's athletic program.
"We filed a complaint [against Clemson] in 2014. At this point we don't think the university has taken appropriate corrective action," Freedom From Religion Foundation's staff attorney, Patrick Elliott, told Breitbart News this week.
"We still have concerns about how that program is being conducted. The university needs to appropriately monitor religious activity in the program," he continued. "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."
Swinney, who won the Paul "Bear" Bryant coach of the year award Wednesday night, asserted in a response to the FFRF complaint The Christian Post reported on in 2014 that religious activity is not a requirement of his program.
"We have three rules in our program that everybody must follow: (1) players must go to class, (2) they must give a good effort and (3) they must be good citizens. It is as simple as that," he said in a statement released through the university.
"I have recruited and coached players of many different faiths. Players of any faith or no faith at all are welcome in our program. All we require in the recruitment of any player is that he must be a great player at his position, meet the academic requirements, and have good character," the statement further noted.
The FFRF alleged in 2014 that Swinney organized religious activities for players while also acting as an official state employee. Clemson University, one of the nation's most selective public research universities based in South Carolina, is ranked as the 21st best national public university by U.S.News & World Report.
The FFRF also charged that Swinney hand-picked chaplain James Trapp, which violates the university's policy on team chaplains, according to USA Today. The organization says student athletes should select their own chaplain. Trapp, they contended at the time of the complaint, was using his office to proselytize and recommended his position be eliminated.
Swinney on Wednesday night became the first ACC coach to be honored with the trophy, named for the late Alabama coach.
The coach was presented with the award Wednesday night in Houston, Texas, one night after he won the American Football Coaches Association National Coach of the Year Award in San Antonio, according to the Clemson Insider.
He finished his seventh full season as the Tigers head coach with a 75-27 record. He led the Tigers to a 14-1 record in 2015, the most victories in school history and just the eighth team in FBS history to win 14 games in a season.
Clemson ended the season ranked No. 2 in the AP and USA Today polls released on Tuesday after the Tigers lost to Alabama in the National Football Playoff Championship game, 45-40, on Monday night.