Officials from Clemson and Florida State have had their say in the war of words that has taken place between the two schools over the past few days. All parties rightfully defending their school.
However, there is a third party that we have yet to hear much from and that is the ACC. Where has the conference been while two of the leagues most successful football programs have gone back and forth in the wake of the Clemson, Florida State matchup that was postponed just three hours before kickoff.
Reports have suggested that the conference signed off on the game moving forward. Clemson Athletic Director Dan Radakovich maintains that all protocols put in place by the league were followed and that the Tigers made every effort to get the game in, up to and including, staying in Tallahassee two extra days.
"We were willing to do whatever was necessary to play while in Tallahassee," Radakovich said Sunday night. "We feel we offered additional solutions to make it work, and to ensure a safe game to the extent that we could. We have followed the protocols in place that all ACC teams have agreed upon this summer and fall in order to play. Among those protocols was an expanded travel roster to add to account for situations, very much like that in this particular situation. Clemson and Florida State disagreed on the best way to move forward."
Swinney echoed Radakovich's sentiments on Sunday night during his weekly teleconference in which it was readily apparent the Clemson head coach was still unhappy about the decision. At the same time though, Swinney went out of his way to not place blame with Florida State head coach Mike Norvell or any of the Seminoles players.
"This game was not canceled because of COVID, COVID was just an excuse to cancel the game," Swinney said. "And to be honest with you I don't think it has anything to do with their players. I have no doubt that their players wanted to play, and would have played. And same with the coaches. To me, the Florida State administration forfeited the game."
However, on Monday Norvell seemed to suggest the the Clemson coaching staff knowingly allowed a symptomatic player to practice with the team. A statement that totally contradicts what Swinney said on Sunday night.
"Other schools can handle themselves throughout the course of the week," Norvell said on Monday. "If they elect to practice symptomatic players, they can do that if they elect to have whatever protocols that are in place."
So here we are. With two schools airing out their grievances in a public forum. Over protocols that are supposed to be the same throughout the conference, not differ from school to school.
Where is the ACC in all of this? Where is ACC Commissioner John Swofford?
If Clemson did in fact follow all the protocols put in place prior to the start of the season, the ACC needs to confirm that. However, when reached for comment by Andrea Adelson of ESPN on Monday night, Swofford offered up a fairly vague and generic response.
"I don't think there's any blame here," Swofford told ESPN. "We've got to remember the world in which we're operating right now. People are following the protocols as agreed upon before the season started, and people are trying to make the best decisions for the right reasons, and you respect that."
Almost 72 hours later and there are still as many questions as they were before that statement. And in this ever-evolving climate college football is operating under in 2020, that's just not good enough.