Clemson wide receiver Tee Higgins found himself in some hot water earlier this week when a car salesman shared a photo of him on social media posing in front of an exotic car, but head coach Dabo Swinney defended his player over the situation.
The photo in question showed Higgins standing with a car salesman in front of a $200,000 McLaren. The caption accompanying the photo thanked the sophomore for “coming to True Auto Mart today to purchase a vehicle.” Naturally, that raised concerns about whether Higgins was being used in an advertisement and/or how he could afford such an expensive car.
After the photo went viral, Higgins’ mother took to social media to insist her son could never afford a $200,000 car and doesn’t even have a job. Higgins said he had no knowledge that his image would be used in a promotion, and the NCAA sent the dealership a cease-and-desist and chose not to sanction the receiver.
They praying on my downfall
— Tee Higgins⁵ (@teehiggins5) June 10, 2018
On Wednesday, Swinney defended Higgins and said someone was taking advantage of the youngster for publicity.
“That’s the world we live in. It is what it is. I think everything’s an opportunity to learn,” Swinney said, via Grace Raynor of The Post and Courier. “He’s one of the best kids that you’ll ever have and be around and it just kind of comes with the territory,” Swinney said. “You learn from it, but obviously there’s a lot of what do you call it — fish bait? Or click bait? Isn’t that what they call it, click bait? Trying to get some story.
“That’s just the world that we live in. So you’ve got to be smart and hope that you can just avoid those types of situations that create false perceptions. But as long as you do what’s right, you ain’t gotta worry about it.”
Higgins had 17 receptions for 345 yards and two touchdowns. He could be in for a bigger role in 2018.