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Dabo Swinney accuses Florida State of ‘forfeiting’ game over Covid-19 protocols

The two-time national champion head coach just accused a fellow conference member of using Covid-19 as an excuse to not play a game. This is not great.

Head coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers signals to his players in the second quarter against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium on November 7, 2020 in South Bend, Indiana. Photo by Matt Cashore-Pool/Getty Images

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.

Clemson Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney just flat-out accused the Florida State Seminoles of ducking his fourth-ranked team on Saturday and using a worldwide pandemic as an excuse.

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?