The blame will likely be flying backwards and forwards for weeks over the fiasco of Florida State-Clemson being known as off on the virtually the final minute Saturday morning. Everybody concerned has a facet to this story, and all factors of view listed here are legitimate.
However the one actual travesty right here is that the ACC didn’t precisely have Florida State’s again when it determined, fairly understandably, that it didn’t wish to play a soccer recreation towards a crew that traveled to Tallahassee with a participant who subsequently examined constructive for COVID-19. As a substitute, what we obtained was a mealy-mouthed assertion from the league that the groups had been “unable to mutually agree on shifting ahead with the sport,” which is technically true however removes essential context and allowed the area for a story that Florida State was ducking the sport.
That’s fallacious, unfair and given the circumstances of a world pandemic that’s escalating uncontrolled on this nation, shouldn’t be allowed to face by the league.
Listed here are the important thing factors to notice, in accordance with two individuals with data of the state of affairs who spoke to USA TODAY Sports activities on the situation of anonymity as a result of they weren’t approved to talk for both faculty.
► A Clemson participant who practiced all week and traveled on the crew aircraft reported a constructive COVID-19 end result from Friday’s testing.
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► Each groups have an open date on Dec. 12 so the sport may very well be rescheduled with out considerably altering both crew’s schedule.
► Florida State, which has maintained strict protocols since head coach Mike Norvell examined constructive again in September, is already working on a skinny roster because of accidents and opt-outs and was involved about assembly roster thresholds for having the ability to play subsequent week towards Virginia or Dec. 5 towards Duke because of contact tracing if Clemson had extra gamers check constructive within the coming days.
► Clemson provided to maneuver the sport to Sunday however Florida State officers weren’t comfy with that situation due to issues about potential unfold throughout the Tigers’ program.
From Clemson’s perspective, the frustration is comprehensible. As athletics director Dan Radakovich famous in a tweet, Clemson “has adopted the entire ACC’s protocol in preparation for this recreation.” That’s true. There may be nothing within the ACC’s pointers that will have expressly prevented the sport from being performed below these circumstances.
However on the similar time, it’s a fairly large gap within the protocol to not have computerized steps to handle a state of affairs the place a participant on a visiting crew receives a constructive check end result after touring. In reality, the concept groups don’t have their check outcomes earlier than getting on the aircraft means all the enterprise is extra weak and dangerous than it ought to be.
Clemson could not prefer it, however implying that Florida State is the the dangerous man forsaying they’d quite not threat it’s tone deaf and absurd.
If something, there hasn’t been almost sufficient deference to the dangers these unpaid novice athletes are taking by enjoying soccer throughout a pandemic.
Simply this week, Mississippi State selected to play a recreation at Georgia regardless of a number of studies suggesting that their roster had fallen beneath the 53-scholarship participant threshold that will enable them to again out. Perhaps some see the Aristocracy in making an attempt, but when the Bulldogs’ recklessness results in them shedding extra gamers and having to again out of subsequent week’s in-state rivalry recreation towards Ole Miss, what did they actually acquire?
None of those selections are straightforward, and there are vital monetary penalties for the faculties if the video games aren’t performed.
However Florida State’s resolution was eminently comprehensible provided that they’d desire to not unnecessarily threat gamers getting contaminated with COVID-19 and that they’d wish to have sufficient gamers accessible to complete out the season.
The ACC ought to have a minimum of defined that dynamic and praised Florida State for working with an abundance of warning. As a substitute, the league merely pointed to the minimal requirements that their convention has established for enjoying a recreation, letting conspiracy theories fester that the Seminoles had been too scared to get blown out by a Clemson crew combating for a nationwide title.
On its face, that’s a ridiculous and offensive notion. Florida State, which has been blown out by Clemson every of the previous three years, awoke Saturday morning totally desiring to play the sport.
It’s Clemson that obtained on the aircraft with a COVID-19 constructive participant and the ACC whose testing protocols allowed it to occur. The remaining is simply noise. To fault Florida State for the results of these unlucky circumstances embodies all the pieces fallacious with the method faculty soccer has taken to this pandemic. When you’re sad in regards to the recreation being known as off, you want a actuality verify.