Last month, the NCAA passed a rule that says all student-athletes must have Election Day off from practice and competition.
The ruling came as a surprise to a lot of coaches and players across the country. However, it could not come at a worse time for Clemson and Notre Dame. Election Day, which is on Nov. 3, falls on the same week the Tigers make their first trip to South Bend, Ind., to play the Irish since 1979.
Top-ranked Clemson and No. 5 Notre Dame meet on Nov. 7, in what could be the first top 5 matchup between two ACC teams in the month of November.
So, how will Clemson handle missing practice that Tuesday?
“It is going to have to change things,” Swinney said when asked about the ruling following Wednesday’s practice. “I am not really worried about it right now, to be honest with you, but it is going to have to change things because Tuesday is a huge practice day for us.”
Of course, the Tigers (3-0, 2-0 ACC) have other things to worry about at the moment, such as getting ready for No. 7 Miami (3-0, 2-0 ACC) this Saturday at Death Valley. But he knows the new rule will affect his team’s practice plans for that week.
“I did not really understand the day off thing because most all of our guys will have already voted, and there will be a few here that will go vote. Certainly, we will always have time to go get that done,” Swinney said. “But that is what they have passed, so that will definitely change things. Not just for us. It is going to be everybody. Our normal off day is Sunday. So, we will have to come in on Sunday.”
In a normal week for Clemson, players have Sundays off during the season, while the coaches come in late in the afternoon and begin their prep work for the next opponent. In a normal week, they will finish their prep work during the day on Monday before beginning team meetings at 4 p.m.
All of that will change the week of the election. By the way, Clemson will host Boston College on Oct. 31.
“We get our guys at four o’clock on Monday and we have always felt like we have got all of our work done. So, you miss Tuesday, so you have to get that stuff done on Sunday,” Swinney said. “It is a quick turnaround for you. You play Saturday, and it is a quick turnaround. But it is the same for every team out there. It just is what it is. So, that is really it. That is the only adjustment that you can make.”
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