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Dabo Swinney: FSU Used COVID-19 as 'Excuse' to Cancel Game vs. Clemson

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistNovember 22, 2020

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney signals to his players during the second quarter against Notre Dame in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in South Bend, Ind. (Matt Cashore/Pool Photo via AP)
Matt Cashore/Associated Press

It's safe to say Dabo Swinney is not happy that Clemson's game against Florida State was postponed because of COVID-19 concerns.

In fact, he is so upset that he dove right into conspiracy theories Sunday.

"This game was not canceled because of COVID," he told reporters. "COVID was just an excuse to cancel the game."

Swinney said Florida State's administration forfeited the game and that FSU can travel to Clemson or pay for his team's travel expenses if it wants another chance at playing the Tigers.

Swinney made a point of saying he does not blame the Florida State players or coaches and just the administration.

"I feel bad for their players, too," he said. "There's no way anybody can convince me their players didn't want to play."

Part of what made the Clemson coach so upset is apparently that his team had already traveled to play.

"We were there," he said. "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."

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Despite Swinney minimizing the risks of playing during a pandemic that has killed so many by implying Florida State's administration just didn't want to play his national powerhouse and was looking for an excuse, there was reportedly a very valid reason for the caution.

Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports reported that a Clemson backup offensive lineman tested positive for COVID-19. The player took the test Friday, traveled with the team and then found out about the positive test after the Tigers arrived in Tallahassee.

As a result, Florida State officials were reportedly concerned about potential spread.

As of Sunday, there have been more than 12.2 million documented cases of COVID-19 with more than 256,000 deaths in just the United States alone.

Clemson is 7-1 and scheduled to face Pittsburgh on Nov. 28. It will likely be Trevor Lawrence's return after he missed two games because of his own COVID-19 diagnosis.

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