Swinney’s message on handling pandemic and having football: ‘Everyone has to sacrifice’


by - Staff Writer -
(Photo per Clemson athletics)
(Photo per Clemson athletics)

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney appeared on the Packer and Durham show on Monday to talk about a number of subjects.

With more students set to return to campus soon, Swinney was asked about his message to the Clemson football team and the community with big stakes placed on there not being a COVID-19 outbreak, on the football field and beyond.

“Really following the protocols and being smart -- we challenged our team, ‘Listen, everyone has to sacrifice,’” Swinney said. “We have a group that is tested. We’ve created as much a bubble as we can, to use that word. But at the end of the day, they still have to make good decisions and keep their circle tight and avoid certain things and follow that protocol so that we can have the opportunity to have a season.”

Clemson will not host in-person classes until Sept. 21 currently, but on-campus residents can begin moving in Sept. 13. Photos with crowds of people at the University of Alabama over the weekend caught the ire of Alabama AD Greg Byrne, in relation to having sports in the fall:

Swinney says he wants students back on campus, but they have to be smart.

“I’m thankful that the students are coming back and all of that -- they all have their own risk assessment that they take,” Swinney said. “I certainly support that. Everyone has to be smart because the virus is a very real thing and it will spread and we know that, but we also know how to limit exposure. We’ve learned a lot. How to mitigate classrooms and all these type of things, but it still comes down to everyone’s personal responsibility to protect themselves and to protect other people. Everybody has to sacrifice -- and we’re going to get through this. This is not for the rest of our lives. We will get through this. But we need to get back to school, back to football -- everything we can in as safe as possible manner.

“Having respect for the protocols and understanding what close contact is -- and if you can’t have social-distancing, making sure you have a mask on and protecting yourself and protecting others and keeping your hands clean. All those type of things are so critical.”

Swinney believes the virus will be a factor in the fall, but he also believes in the plan that Clemson has.

“There will be people getting the virus. People are foolish to think that somebody is not going to get the virus,” he said. “It’s about having a plan in place and being transparent and honest. I know the university has a great plan...The biggest thing is everyone being smart and not having big groups and not having all the close contact and those type of things.

“If we can do that, I think we can get back safely and allow everyone to start getting some normalcy back in their life. We have to live with this. We have to live through it. And eventually we’re going to get to the other side of it.”

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