Alabama does not return to school until next week so and is not subject to the NCAA limit.
Before the waiver, Clemson would have been restricted to a maximum of four hours of practice and team meeting time per day, while Alabama remains unrestricted because classes do not resume until next week.
The university issued the following statement:
“Clemson athletic department officials received word from the NCAA on Wednesday its request for relief in regards to the football team’s preparation for the College Football Playoff National Championship will be granted. Clemson’s spring semester began with classes on Wednesday, beginning the limit on countable athletically related activity. Clemson requested permission to exceed the daily-hour limitation on a very limited basis and for student-athletes to miss class Thursday afternoon with professor approval. Clemson will not exceed the weekly 20-hour maximum.”
Athletic director Dan Radakovich thanked the NCAA for the waiver.
“We’re appreciative of the NCAA working with us in granting this waiver to assist in our preparations for next Monday’s game while maintaining our commitment to student-athlete welfare,” Radakovich said. “As Coach Swinney pointed out, this was not going to be a big difference maker in our team’s schedule, but it’s great they've reached a solution that prioritizes the well-being of our student-athletes while allowing them to adequately prepare for the National Championship.”
A similar issue arose last season when differing semester start dates allowed Ohio State unlimited practice time, while Oregon was restricted but adhered to the NCAA rule. The Buckeyes went on to defeat the Ducks, 42–20.
This year’s National Championship will be played on Jan. 11 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.
- Christopher Chavez