CBS football analyst Boomer Esiason does not exactly have a love affair with Clemson. During his four years at the University of Maryland from 1980-’83, he and the Terrapins were 1-3 against the Tigers.
In 1982, Esiason was picked off by Billy Davis at the Clemson 38-yard line with 25 seconds to play to clinch a second straight ACC Championship for the Tigers. In 1983, Maryland won the ACC, but few people, including themselves, think they really deserved it. Clemson was on probation and ineligible to win the conference that season, but the Tigers dismantled the Terrapins, 52-27, at Death Valley to complete a third straight undefeated season in league play.
So, it was not totally a surprise to hear Esiason take a dig at Clemson during his radio show Monday on CBS Sports Radio. The former Maryland quarterback, who went on to an All-Pro career with the Cincinnati Bengals, suggested football players at Clemson and in the SEC are contracting the COVID-19 virus on purpose, so they will not get it during the season.
“I have to be really careful here because I do not want to say this is an accusation… I was thinking the other day about what is going on with the SEC teams down South and Clemson included, who is obviously an ACC team,” Esiason said.
Clemson Athletics reported 19 new cases for the COVID-19 virus last Friday, 14 of which were football players. It marked the second straight week the Clemson football team saw a significant number of players test positive for the coronavirus.
“A lot of their players are coming down with COVID-19 oddly enough,” Esiason said. “So, are they trying to herd immunity, their teams? So, these guys can go and get sick now, as opposed to getting sick during the college football season. If in fact there is one.
“I am telling you right now, I would not put it past any of those guys down there.”
Previously, 23 Clemson football players tested positive, as did two staff members. The additional 14 players who tested positive, brought the total of confirmed positive cases for Clemson Football to 39 overall, 37 of which are players.
The 28 individuals who had previously tested positive have now completed a minimum 10-day isolation period. Through June 26, there have been no hospitalizations for any individual within Clemson Athletics related to COVID-19, and approximately half of the cases have been asymptomatic.
“I think it is going on,” Esiason later said in a response. “I honestly … the numbers coming out of Alabama, LSU and Clemson, all of these teams, it is too much of a coincidence.”
Clemson has completed 430 tests thus far since June 1, with a total of 47 positive results.
Clemson has notified and isolated each of those individuals for a period of at least 10 days. Known close contacts have also been asked to self-quarantine for at least 14 days and are unable to participate in voluntary activity during that period.
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