Clemson refused call to move South Carolina game: report

ESPN and the ACC wanted Clemson to move its game against rival South Carolina, but the school stood firm on its original schedule.
Clemson refused a request from ESPN and the ACC to move its rivalry game against South Carolina in 2024.
Clemson refused a request from ESPN and the ACC to move its rivalry game against South Carolina in 2024. / Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK

Clemson declined a request from ESPN and the ACC to play football rival South Carolina on Black Friday and will instead play the game on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, according to TigerNet.

The network and conference approached Clemson with a plea to move its football game against the Gamecocks up one day, to the day after Thanksgiving this season, but were turned down by the school.

In an effort to sway Clemson's decision, ESPN and the ACC agreed to scheduling concessions should it move the game, but that offer wasn't enough for the Tigers to accept.

Those concessions included: to make Clemson's game against The Citadel a noon kickoff on Nov. 23, move the South Carolina game to primetime, make the 2027 matchup against NC State a home game, have the Tigers play just two ACC road games in primetime, and have the Gamecocks host Clemson on Black Friday in the future.

To that, Clemson said thanks, but no thanks.

In response, the ACC said it was "disappointed" in a letter to the school.

"As has been indicated to you during the process, the Conference Office is disappointed in Clemson University's lack of cooperation on this matter," said ACC Senior Associate Commissioner for Football Michael Strickland in a letter obtained by TigerNet.

The letter continued: "As all ACC members know, it is incumbent upon the ACC and its institutions to work in good faith with ESPN on football scheduling issues. This cooperation maximizes the value of our relationship with our media partner and strengthens our collective future. Clemson's decision not to do so in this instance is harmful toward that goal."

After winning seven straight games in the Palmetto Bowl series, and 40 straight at home, Clemson dropped a 31-30 result to the rival Gamecocks in 2022, enough to be kept from the College Football Playoff.

The year following, Clemson returned the favor in a 16-7 decision in Columbia that prevented South Carolina from qualifying for a bowl game.

Clemson leads South Carolina, 73-43-4, all-time in the rivalry that dates back to 1896.



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James Parks


James Parks is the founder and publisher of College Football HQ. He previously covered football for 247Sports and CBS Interactive. College Football HQ joined the Sports Illustrated Fannation Network in 2022.