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Swinney: Issues existed before 70-point debacle

By Pete Iacobelli

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Jan. 13 2012 10:25 a.m. MST

FILE - In this Oct., 22, 2011, file photo, Clemson defensive coordinator Kevin Steele reacts to a play during an NCAA college football game against North Carolina Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011, at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, S.C. A person familiar with the decision says Clemson defensive coordinator Kevin Steele is no longer with the team. The person told The Associated Press Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012, that Steele was not fired but would did not say whether or not Steele's departure was his own decision.

Richard Shiro, File, Associated Press

CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson coach Dabo Swinney says that philosophical differences led to the parting with former Tigers defensive coordinator Kevin Steele.

Swinney said Friday he had issues to discuss with Steele even if Clemson had won the Orange Bowl instead of giving up a bowl-record 70 points in an embarrassing loss to West Virginia.

Swinney and Steele spoke Thursday morning. The school announced later that Steele was leaving after three years. His defense was ranked in the top 25 nationally in yards allowed and points given up in Steele's first two seasons. The group, however, surrendered more than 29 points a game this year, falling to 81st in the country.

Swinney say he's got no timetable for finding Steele's replacement, although he's begun talking with people about the position.

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