Eric Man Lain wants to set the record straight to those in the national media who are painting the Clemson program in a negative light and basically accusing Clemson of trying to sneak a player into a game who tested positive for COVID-19.
“I have seen and read just a lot of stuff that quite frankly is not correct that people just don’t know and are saying things that are not true,” the former Clemson offensive lineman and now analyst for the ACCN Network said on the Packer & Durham Show Monday.
Clemson and Florida State did not play on Saturday after the ACC announced the game had to be postponed three hours before kickoff because the teams’ two medical personnel could not agree to play the game.
It was later revealed that Clemson had a player test positive for COVID-19 and FSU did not feel comfortable playing the game. Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney was livid about the decision in his Sunday teleconference and accused the FSU administration of using COVID as an excuse to postpone the game, but it was not the reason.
Mac Lain said the player in question, who is a reserved offensive lineman, first started showing mild symptoms on Sunday and went got tested on his own. The result came back negative. He was still experiencing symptoms on Monday and Tuesday, so he did not practice. During that time, he was tested again, and the test again came back negative.
“Then on Wednesday, he was A-symptomatic,” Mac Lain said. “A-symptomatic means he does not have any symptoms. He was cleared by the training staff. He practices, has another COVID test, again it is negative. Three negative tests, guys. He goes into Thursday, practices. He is just fine. He goes into Friday morning the team travels and he is showing no symptoms.
“This is now three days in a row where we had had three negative tests. Three days of no symptoms. Why wouldn’t he travel? He gets on the plane and unfortunately that test comes back as soon as the team finds out. He was isolated and returned home safely.”
Mac Lain said he has been frustrated by the lack of irresponsible reporting that is being put out there and how it is painting Clemson as the bad guy in this whole situation.
“I have seen so many different things on Clemson was traveling a player who was showing symptoms, he practiced all week. That is just not true, and it was very irresponsible for people to say and to accuse any university of doing so. We are in a very different climate right.
“Yes, I totally understand Florida State’s side of it. I get that you have a ton of players opt out and you have some injuries. So, player safety is of the upmost importance and I get that, but I also understand where Coach Swinney is coming from and his frustrations. We have protocols in place. We have a standard. We have to trust these COVID tests. We just can’t say, ‘Oh well, he tested negative, but he has some sniffles,’ or he tested negative and all of a sudden we are not trusting any of the process that we have in place.”
Mac Lain agreed with his former head coach. He said Clemson did everything write, right down to the letter of the protocol and did not missing anything.
“There was no miss or something that went wrong with the process. The standard of canceling the game was not met,” he said. “When you look at Coach Swinney, maybe he was a little aggressive. Did he come out swinging? Sure, but he is a human just like us and he has the right to be frustrated.”
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