No fans for college football games? Swinney weighs in


by - Senior Writer -
Death Valley  is rocking and rolling when it's full of fans.
Death Valley is rocking and rolling when it's full of fans.

College football played in an empty stadium? Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney doesn’t see that happening.

Swinney was a guest on ESPN’s “First Take” show Thursday morning, and he backed up his comments from last week that he believes the 2020 season will take place.

“I think God is bigger than this. I think He’s going to be glorified and shine through this in a mighty way. He has the ability to stamp this thing out as quickly as it rose up. That’s just what I believe,” Swinney said. “If it doesn’t work out that way then you adjust. But my plan is to get back at it and hope for the best.

“Over 2,000 years ago this weekend the world was in a crisis, and I’m sure a lot of smart people didn’t think Jesus could come back to life. But he did. And this Sunday we’re going to celebrate that. And this is way bigger than football, but I believe this fall we’ll be back to our lives as well.”

Some have suggested that college football games could be played in empty stadiums, and Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick said that takes away from the essence of college football.

“I don’t see a model where we play, at least any extended number of games, in facilities where we don’t have fans,” Swarbrick said. “College football is about the cheerleaders and the band and the campus environment on game day. We’re interested in solutions that allow us to have a traditional game-day experience.”

Swinney called that scenario unlikely.

“Whatever is best, that decision will be made. Could it happen? Of course, anything can happen,” Swinney said. “But I would say that’s probably more unlikely than not. But I have no idea what next week’s going to bring, much less three months from now.”

Swinney also touched on the trade of former Clemson receiver DeAndre Hopkins from the Houston Texans to the Arizona Cardinals, calling it a “wow” deal.

“Just like everyone else, that’s a ‘wow’ deal when it comes across the ticker,” Swinney said. “I spent a day with DeAndre literally a week before it happened. We had a big reunion at Clemson and DeAndre was here. I had an awesome time visiting with him. I don’t know if he knew anything at the time. He did not say anything. I was surprised like everyone else.”

Swinney said he was disappointed that he won’t get to see Hopkins and former Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson on the field together in 2020.

“(Hopkins) is as good as it gets,” Swinney said. “But there’s always two sides to those things. There’s the business side and the reasons people make decisions, who really knows. It was awesome to watch DeAndre and Deshaun play together these past three years. Unfortunately, it won’t be the case moving forward. But both of those guys are going to continue to have amazing careers.”

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