Last Tuesday, Clemson along with everyone else in the ACC got the news that most knew was coming. The conference canceled all athletic related activities in the league. This includes all competition and practices through the end of the 2019-20 academic year, which meant spring football practice also.
This unanimous decision was made to try to slow down the spreading of COVID-19 (Corona Virus). Every program was to continue to work in accordance with its respective university and state policies as they related to its individual campus decisions. A week later it continues with the end to it seeming to grow further and further in distance.
So the Tigers spring football practices were over. This was something that Dabo Swinney and his team knew was a possibility when they broke for spring break following last Wednesday’s scrimmage at Death Valley.
On the plus side, Clemson practiced more this spring than any other team in the ACC and only one opponent on the 2020 schedule had more practices. That team would be the Citadel. They completed their spring drills on March 7. Swinney was happy with the work put in up to that point, saying “If we don’t get another practice, I feel good about what we have been able to get done.”
So, what’s next for the Tigers football team? Not much. Not as a team anyway. The staff will have to rely on the players keeping themselves sharp.
This is definitely not ideal for a team looking to make their sixth straight College Football Playoff appearance. Especially since it feels like this team has something to prove after the disaapointing loss to LSU in the National Championship game.
Until campus opens back up, the players are on their own as far as working out and getting themselves prepared for the 2020 season. The Allen Reeves Football Complex, like all buildings on the Clemson campus is closed.
The coaches continue to work remotely during this unprecedented pandemic. The players meanwhile, will have to work out from their own homes. Whether it’s an off campus apartment or at their parents home back in their own hometown.
“The biggest thing is making sure everybody is safe and there are no issues<” Swinney said last Tuesday. “We can do the learning online. However, we have to do that and try to finish the semester the way we want to. We will just roll with it.”
This is another great thing about Swinney and his coaching staff. They want to win as much as anyone, but at the same time they know that at the end of the day these young men’s health is the most important thing on the field of life.
What’s next for Clemson Football? Will Tiger fans see their favorite football team take the field in early in September as scheduled? Fans are hoping to see this happen, but also know that this coaching staff will do everything that has to be done to protect the great players whose parents have entrusted them to look out for.