Speaking with reporters on Sunday following the cancellation of the Clemson-Florida State game that was to be played on Saturday, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney did not hide his frustration with the decision to not play the game. The move came after a Clemson player tested positive for COVID-19, though Swinney called the virus "just an excuse" for Florida State to avoid playing.
"This game was not canceled because of COVID. COVID was just an excuse to cancel the game," Swinney said, per Grace Raynor of The Athletic. The Clemson coach said he considers the game a forfeit by Florida State's administration.
The game was postponed following a positive test by a Clemson player on Friday. Both teams' medical personnel were not able to come to an agreement on moving forward with the game. Clemson was made aware of the positive test after landing in Tallahassee, with the player who tested positive onboard the flight.
"The standard to cancel a game was not met," Swinney said. "A guy testing positive on Friday does not cancel a game. I was on every committee call for months since March and that was never the case."
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence tweeted the Tigers "were ready to play." The school's athletic director, Dan Radakovich, said Clemson made every effort to make the game work but was unable to find common ground with Florida State.
"We were willing to do whatever was necessary to play while in Tallahassee," Radakovich said. "We feel we offered additional solutions to make it work."
Swinney said Clemson would like to make up the game against Florida State, though for that to happen, the Seminoles would either have to travel to Clemson or pay for Clemson's travel. Radakovich says the total cost of the trip was around $300,000, according to Raynor.
On Monday, Florida State coach Mike Norvell told reporters that the Seminoles made their decision out of concern for their players' health and safety.
"Other schools can handle themselves however they want. They can practice symptomatic players. But when it comes to our student athletes and their well being, we're going to rely on our medical advisors to make the best call," he said. "We were excited to play this game. We're a young team that needs every rep we can get. I'm not concerned what any other coach says or thinks."
Norvell added that he tried to call Swinney on Saturday morning but was unable to connect with him.