It is not often Paul Finebaum takes Dabo Swinney’s side on things, but that is exactly what the ESPN personality did Tuesday morning on the Get up show on ESPN.
Swinney has been blasted by most in the national media for his Sunday night call with the Clemson media after he called out Florida State’s administration for postponing Saturday’s game three hours before kickoff. The game was postponed after Clemson had a player test positive for COVID-19 the Friday night before the game was to be played.
Clemson isolated the player, who did not show any symptoms and already passed three COVID test earlier in the week and flew him home immediately. However, FSU did not feel comfortable with the situation and elected to postpone the game. Clemson offered to have everyone retest and possibly play the game later in the night or on Sunday, but Florida State officials said they still were not comfortable.
“We meet the standard to play and we should have played,” Swinney said. “We have mitigated everything all year long. All year … meetings, practices, meals, housing, how we travel. If the standard of play was zero positive tests, then we would have never had a season.
“This game was not canceled because of COVID. It was just an excuse to cancel the game.”
On Monday, FSU head coach Mike Norvell commented to the FSU media they postponed the game because they did not trust Clemson’s medical staff. It was their understanding, Clemson had a player with symptoms participate in practice and then travel with the team, which was false.
Swinney then responded to Norvell’s account on his call-in shown later Monday night.
“I don’t give a crap what they say. I know what the facts are,” he said.
Finebaum was asked by Get Up host Mike Greenberg on Tuesday, “Who looks bad in this, Florida State or Dabo for saying it the way he did?”
“I don’t think Dabo looks that bad,” Finebaum said. “I know the media pundits all over the country Greenie are assassinating him because it is the easy thing to do. Dabo is not making a proclamation against COVID safety, he just wanted to know, ‘Why we did not have a football game on Saturday? We spent $300,000 going down there and nobody could make up their mind.’
“So, I don’t have any problem with him standing up and screaming and hollering because he wanted to get that game out of the way. He does not want to play that game on December 12, one week before he has to see Notre Dame in the ACC Championship Game.”
Finebaum said there is someone to blame in all of this back and forth between Clemson and Florida State, though.
“In the end, the ACC created this disaster,” he said. “The fact that they still have not said anything is shameful.”
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