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Swinney: FSU Used COVID as Excuse to Postpone Game

Brock Fritz

Saturday’s college football game between Clemson and Florida State was postponed hours before it was scheduled to start.

The last-minute change left Dabo Swinney frustrated. According to ESPN, the Clemson head coach said Sunday that Florida State used a Clemson player’s positive COVID-19 test on Friday as an excuse to postpone Saturday’s game in Tallahassee.

"This game was not canceled because of COVID," Swinney said. "COVID was just an excuse to cancel the game. I have no doubt their players wanted to play and would have played. And same with the coaches. To me, the Florida State administration forfeited the game."

The Clemson player had made the trip to Tallahassee before the Tigers found out that he had tested positive. On Saturday morning, Florida State released a statement that said the game would be rescheduled to a later date.

“Our first priority is the health of our student-athletes, and I appreciate the protocols that have been put in place by FSU and the ACC to ensure everyone’s health while allowing us to play this season,” head coach Mike Norvell said in the release. “It’s unfortunate that we will not have the opportunity to compete today, but we hope to be able to play Clemson in December. I am thankful for the support and coordination between our administration, Clemson and the ACC office.”

The ACC, which lists its full protocols on the ACC Medical Advisory Group report, said the game was postponed following the Saturday morning “game conference call at which time both teams’ medical personnel were unable to mutually agree on moving forward with the game.”

Clemson director of athletics Dan Radakovich said Saturday that, while a player had tested positive, the Tigers followed all protocols the Atlantic Coast Conference requires for competition.

“We are disappointed that we will not be able to play today’s game against Florida State,” Radakovich said in a statement. “Clemson has followed all of the ACC’s protocols in preparation for this game.”

The Athletic’s Grace Raynor reported that Swinney said, “The standard to cancel a game was not met. A guy testing positive on Friday does not cancel a game. I was on every committee call for months since March and that was never the case.”

According to Raynor, Radakovich said that the trip to Tallahassee cost Clemson about $300,000 and, “We were willing to do whatever was necessary to play while in Tallahassee. We feel we offered additional solutions to make it work.”

“If they want to play Clemson, in my opinion, they need to come to Clemson, or they need to pay for all the expenses,” Swinney said, according to the Post and Courier.

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