Kelly even went so far as to say, “I’m not sure we’ll play the playoffs if the parents can’t be there.”
The Rose Bowl announced earlier this month that due to COVID-19 restrictions put in place by the state of California, no fans will be allowed to participate in the game.
The coaching comments came during a video conference call Friday on the eve of the CCA Championship game in Charlotte, NC between the Fighting Irish and the No.4 Tigers.
“Why would we play if you can’t have a family at the game?” Kelly said. “If you can’t have a family at bowling games, why would you go to a game where your families can’t be a part?” What is the meaning of playing a game in an area of the country where no one can be a part of it? ”
Swinney suggested the game be moved to another location if families are not allowed to attend.
“Whether we’re in (the game) or whoever we are, I don’t care, it doesn’t make sense to me to put a bunch of kids on a plane and fly them to California to play.” . an empty stadium, ”Swinney said. “It doesn’t make sense when you have a lot of stadiums where you can have fans, and most importantly, you can have families. ”
Swinney stressed that each family receives a stipend of $ 2,500 to attend games and that families of the four playoff teams should have the same opportunity to watch the game in person. The other CFP semifinal game will be played Jan. 1 at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The National College Football Playoff Championship takes place Jan. 11 in Miami Gardens, Florida.
“It’s a year a year where everyone had to make adjustments and (moving on to the game) for me would be pretty straightforward to do,” Swinney said.
“Why can’t it be the Rose Bowl in Las Vegas or the Rose Bowl in another city?” Kelly said. “Where’s the flexibility for the student-athlete, that’s all I’m saying. The only thing these kids have been is incredibly flexible, and then on the other side, can’t we be flexible? It’s hard to imagine.
Kelly said he was only echoing the concerns of his players.
“I’m not the guy who makes this up because it’s not about my family,” Kelly said. “It’s about their family, so I’m a voice for our team, and they’re worried. They are focused on the ACC Championship. This is where they focus. They won’t talk about these things. But, if in fact we are chosen to be a part of it, then it will be # 1 on their radar, so I’ll have to take it up with our leaders to find out what they think of this. ”
Kelly said his players had been on campus since June and hadn’t seen much of their family.
“They had to fight through COVID, some of them had COVID,” Kelly said. “They can’t be with their families for Christmas, and you’re going to tell me we’re going to have the playoffs and maybe one site can have families and the other can’t?”
“Someone has to wake up in this room and figure this out or you might as well call it the pro league. I’m so sick of this playoff committee talking about having sites where you can’t have parents and their families. It’s ridiculous. ”
The CFP selection committee does not control the location where the match will be played. It depends on the management committee, made up of the 10 FBS conference commissioners and the sports director of Notre-Dame.