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Florida State head coach Mike Norvell responds to Clemson's comments

Posted at 6:05 PM, Nov 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-23 23:43:33-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The Florida State football team's game against Clemson was canceled Saturday just hours before kick-off due to COVID-19.

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney implied Sunday night that Florida State canceled their football game against the Tigers Saturday for reasons other than COVID-19. Mike Norvell refuted those claims Monday, saying they were disappointed that the game had to be canceled, and when asked if the game was canceled because of COVID? Norvell answered, "Absolutely."

"We're competitors, and that's the reason we have things set up the way we have them set up," said Norvell. "Football coaches are not doctors, some of us may think we are. There's a reason why those advisors make the decisions from the information that is provided."

The Clemson player that tested positive Friday was sat out of practice when he was symptomatic earlier in the week. Swinney said Sunday that when his symptoms were no longer apparent, he was allowed to practice Wednesday and Thursday. He also tested negative twice for COVID-19. The postitive test came back Friday night after Clemson arrived in Tallahassee.

Norvell described Florida State's strict safety protocols Monday. He went on to say that schools can handle COVID cases how they'd like, but said Florida State will continue to do what's in the best interest of their student athletes.

"We made the decision that we're not going to have somebody that expresses or shows symptoms within the facility. We wait until symptoms are gone," he said. "We're obviously looking for a negative test. That's something that's been hard. We've missed guys throughout the course of the week in practice. We missed a coach and missed players traveling with the team and being a part of the team for games."

In reference to Swinney saying he wanted Florida State to travel to Clemson or reimburse them to travel back to Tallahassee for a make-up game, Norvell joked if contributions need to be made to get Clemson to travel back to Tallahassee, he'll sign up to make one.

As far as when that make-up could be, both teams have an open date of Dec. 12.