Sources: FSU refuses to play after one positive Clemson test
|Saturday, November 21, 2020, 10:03 AM- -|
The postponement bug finally hit Clemson.
It was announced early Saturday morning, just a little over three hours before kickoff, that the scheduled noon kickoff between Clemson and Florida State. had been postponed. The statement put out was vague:
“The postponement follows this morning’s game conference call at which time both teams’ medical personnel were unable to mutually agree on moving forward with the game. Both teams continue to adhere to the minimum outlined protocols within the ACC Medical Advisory Group report, which is available on theACC.com.
“As was previously announced, the 2020 ACC Football scheduling model includes 11 games (10 conference plus one non-conference), played over at least 13 weeks with each team having two open dates.”
So, what happened?
A source I have at Florida State told me that Clemson had one player test positive in the batch of Friday COVID-19 tests that are performed each week. The school tests players three times per week, with the last test of the week on Friday before the games. The player in question is a backup offensive lineman that showed symptoms in practice this week but had prior negative tests. That player then tested positive on Friday. Once FSU learned of the positive test, their medical personnel deemed not playing the game in the best interest of their program due to contact tracing.
Friday positives are common, and teams can still play if proper protocols are met, but Florida State decided it was too risky. Clemson had gone through all proper protocols and was ready and willing to play the game, and to say that those close to the Tiger program are livid would be an understatement. I wouldn’t expect a statement from head coach Dabo Swinney until the Sunday night teleconference.
Clemson Athletic Director Dan Radakovich released this statement, and we will have to roll with this until, as I said, things have had a chance to cool down.
“We are disappointed that we will not be able to play today’s game against Florida State. Clemson has followed all of the ACC's protocol in preparation for this game. We now look ahead to returning to action next week against Pitt for Senior Day and Military Appreciation Day at Memorial Stadium.”
FSU head coach Mike Norvell released this statement:
“Our first priority is the health of our student-athletes, and I appreciate the protocols that have been put in place by FSU and the ACC to ensure everyone’s health while allowing us to play this season,” head coach Mike Norvell said. “It’s unfortunate that we will not have the opportunity to compete today, but we hope to be able to play Clemson in December. I am thankful for the support and coordination between our administration, Clemson and the ACC office. Our team will now turn our focus to hosting Virginia next week.”
Both schools have an open date the week of Dec. 12th. However, Clemson has already paid the expenses for a trip to Tallahassee only to have the proverbial rug pulled out from underneath them. Would the game be played in Tallahassee? Would FSU come to Clemson? All questions that need answers, answers we don’t have quite yet.
Sources have told us that Clemson offered to play the game Sunday, or even hang around and play it on Monday (a bold move considering Clemson plays Pitt next week) in order to ally Florida State’s safety concerns, but the Noles declined the offer. One reason could be Florida State’s health situation.
All told, Florida State has had 24 players who were on the original depth chart in September miss at least one game with an injury or illness. Fourteen of those 24 have missed multiple games, and five are now out for the season – Marvin Wilson, Devontay-Love Taylor, Meiko Dotson, Jordan Wilson and Chubba Purdy (the quarterback who started last week’s game but is now ruled out for the season). There are five other players -- Terry, D.J. Matthews, Cyrus Fagan, Isaiah Bolden and Blackman -- who have left the team since August.