Clemson (6-1), fourth in the nation and favorite with five touchdowns against the 1-6 Seminoles, arrived in Tallahassee on Friday. That was when the school found out about the positive test. The matchup was postponed on Saturday morning, a few hours before kick-off, after the ACC said “the medical staff of both teams could not mutually agree to move the game forward.”
“We listened to our medics and their assessment of the risk, and we decided it wasn’t safe to gamble today,” Florida state sports director David Coburn told the Associated Press.
For Swinney, such a decision shouldn’t have been on the table.
“The standard for canceling a game has not been met,” he said. “A guy who tested positive on Friday won’t cancel a game. I’ve been on every committee call for months since March and never have. It was never said that the game would be canceled if a team had a positive player test on Friday. The only thing we talked about when games were canceled was that we didn’t have enough scholars or at least seven offensive linemen. We offered to play Saturday night, Sunday, Monday – and it was turned down.
“We met the standard to play and we should have played.”
Clemson’s sporting director Dan Radakovich confirmed his coach’s claims on the same conference call.
“When Clemson heard of Florida State concerns, he offered to undergo another round of testing and came up with various alternatives to play the game later on Saturday or Sunday,” said Radakovich. “But we couldn’t agree. We did everything in our power to play and followed all agreed ACC protocols to do so. ”
“We want to build trust and understanding to protect our players,” said Florida State coach Mike Norvell on ESPN on Saturday. “I can tell you we woke up today and we are ready to play this game.”
Swinney said the positive test came from a reserve offensive lineman who had “mild symptoms” but “felt good” and tested negative earlier in the week.
When asked if he had thought of not bringing the player on the trip, the coach replied: “So now we’re changing the rules? You either trust the test or you don’t. If they test negative now, are we going to tell the guys they can’t play anyway? I don’t know what to tell you about it. Either you trust the test or you don’t, it’s that simple. That’s why we test. If a man has an earache or a runny nose and tests negative all week, say we don’t take it? You either trust the test or you don’t. And the rules are what they are. ”
“This is a virus and we all know what we are dealing with,” he added. “The bottom line was that the rules were set for everyone and we more than met the standard to play and they made the decision not to play. So you can say what you want, I don’t know what their reasoning was. ”
In a statement on Saturday, Norvell said: “We hope to play Clemson in December.” Both teams’ regular season is expected to end on December 5th. While Clemson is on track to appear in the ACC Championship game on December 19th, there could be an open date the week before.
Radakovich said he will work with the ACC to postpone the game in the state of Florida, and he confirmed reports that the trip cost Clemson approximately $ 300,000. Swinney claimed that if the two teams were to meet later this season it should either be in Clemson or the FSU should account for the Tigers to travel again.
“I have no doubt that their players wanted to play and would have played. And the same goes for the coaches, ”he told reporters.
“For me, the Florida state government forfeited the game, and if they want to play Clemson, I think they have to come to Clemson or play for all costs. Other than that, there is no reason for us to play it. ”