College football, we’ve done it. We’ve finally had a head football coach accuse another school of using Covid-19 as an excuse to not play a game. And the coach making that accusation might have the best history of recent success in the sport.
Dabo Swinney is really upset: "This game was not canceled because of COVID. COVID was just an excuse to cancel the game." Says FSU administration forfeited the game. If FSU wants to play Clemson, they can home to Death Valley, he says. Or they can pay for Clemson's travel.— Grace Raynor (@gmraynor) November 22, 2020
Dabo Swinney: "I'm incredibly disappointed we did not play and I’m disappointed in the decision to not play. We had one guy test positive on Friday and so they canceled the game, even though all protocols were followed."— Grace Raynor (@gmraynor) November 22, 2020
Dabo on whether Clemson would play FSU again: “We were there. We were ready. We met the standards to play. In my opinion they forfeited the game. That’s $300,000 that’s gone out the window."— ️♈️ (@ADavidHaleJoint) November 22, 2020
Dabo Swinney: "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."— Grace Raynor (@gmraynor) November 22, 2020
Dabo Swinney: "I think we were there, we were ready and we met the standard to play. Period. .. They canceled the game. In my opinion, they forfeited the game." Says going back to FSU is a question for Dan Radakovich.— Grace Raynor (@gmraynor) November 22, 2020
In the world of crazy college football coaching press conferences, this one is going to make the highlight reel.
First of all, we’ll bet ACC Commissioner John Swofford isn’t going to take kindly to one of his member schools impugning the motivations of another. There’s likely to be some kind of statement and discipline, be it financial or otherwise, coming to the Tigers from the league. If you can’t criticize officials after a game, you sure as heck can’t criticize other athletic directors and league personnel for how they interpret health protocols.
What Swinney is accusing FSU of doing is pretty diabolical. He states his belief that the Noles let a team get on a plane to Tallahassee, and then decided to pull the rug out because an opponent’s positive Covid-19 test was an excuse to not get beat. Clemson was a five-touchdown favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook about 90 minutes before kickoff.
There’s going to be lots of consequences and hot takes about this for days to come. But it almost can’t be overstated: One of the top coaches in college football publicly accused a fellow conference member of using a global pandemic as an excuse to not play a football game.
Where was that on your 2020 bingo card?