Swofford disappointed SEC canceled Clemson-South Carolina game

Swofford disappointed SEC canceled Clemson-South Carolina game

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Swofford disappointed SEC canceled Clemson-South Carolina game

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As well as the other ACC vs. SEC rivalry games

Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford is disappointed the SEC made an announcement that has canceled traditional rivalry games between the two conferences this year.

Swofford said his disappointment is not really a criticism of the SEC, but the disappointment those are quality games, from the ACC’s standpoint, that could have been played.

“I was disappointed, but I would quickly add, I think that is the SEC’s decision to make,” he said Friday on the ACC Network’s Packer & Durham Show. “We took a different route as a conference and we were and are very comfortable with that route. We took a path that would allow those games to happen.”

The four rivalry games that got nixed by the SEC are the Louisville-Kentucky series, Florida State-Florida, Georgia Tech-Georgia and, of course, Clemson-South Carolina. Clemson and South Carolina have met every year in football since 1909, a streak of 111 consecutive years. It was the second longest uninterrupted series in college football.

“Those rivalry games that you were speaking off are huge in the Southeast. They are huge in those respected states and really, really big nationally from that standpoint as well,” Swofford said. “You hate to see those disrupted, but each conference ultimately has to do what they believe is in their best interest.

“The A-5 conferences have tried to stay on the same path on this. I am not surprised that we have not ended up at exactly the same place. We are ending up in similar places, but not exactly the same place and that is okay.”

The ACC announced Wednesday it was going to play 10-conference games, plus one non-conference game this year to combat the pandemic crisis, which was being spearheaded by Clemson.

“Clemson aggressively lobbied the ACC to include an additional non-conference game for the primary purpose of maintaining our long-standing rivalry game with South Carolina,” Clemson athletic Director Dan Radakovich said in a statement Thursday. “We’re disappointed to hear of the scheduling decision announced by the SEC, as we know the importance of The Palmetto Bowl to the state of South Carolina. We will work to fill the opening on our schedule immediately.”

Swofford said he and SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey have had excellent communications leading up to the SEC’s announcement. However, Swofford said the SEC had the right to do as they please, just like the ACC did.

“Greg and I speak often, as we speak with the other conferences as well,” Swofford said. “It took them a good while to get to a point where they were comfortable making a decision, just as it did us. Some of us wanted to wait a little longer than others in order to have more information when we tried to finalize a decision. The Big Ten and the Pac-12 went a little earlier, but we are dealing with the same set of circumstances in a sense.”

Swofford said he spoke with the ACC’s 15 athletic directors on Friday morning and he added he feels very good that each of the schools, including the four who were shortsighted by the SEC, are in a good position of landing a non-conference opponent to be played within their own state borders for the 2020 season.

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