The Clemson Tigers got a request granted that just might help them in preparing for Alabama, who they’ll face on Monday night in Glendale, Ariz. The NCAA has granted Clemson a waiver allowing the team to exceed the 20-hour practice limit that it previously had to adhere to due to the school’s spring semester beginning this week.
ESPN’s Brett McMurphy reported the waiver being granted on Thursday afternoon. Alabama has been able to have unlimited practice and team meeting times, because the school’s academic calendar has classes starting next week, which means the team is not limited to the NCAA’s 20-hour rule. Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney addressed the differences in practice time on Tuesday, prior to the NCAA granting the unlimited practice time. Swinney actually dismissed the notion of Alabama having an advantage in preparing for Clemson.
“People make a big deal out of that,” Swinney said. “First of all, tomorrow and Thursday they’ve got a little bit more time. Maybe they can have an extra meeting, something like that. Maybe they can do a walk-through in the morning and maybe a little extra film session. But I think at this point to be honest with you, more isn’t better. I kind of believe in the less is more.
We are who we are, they are who they are. Let’s go play the game.”
Last year, the College Football Playoff championship game had the same issue with different practice schedules. The Ohio State Buckeyes were able to have unlimited practice time because OSU’s spring semester didn’t begin until the week of the championship game, whereas Oregon’s started the week before. The Ducks lost, 42-20, and Buckeye linebacker Joshua Perry even admitted it gave the team a slight advantage not having school beginning until the week after.
Monday night’s game will kickoff at 8:30 p.m. EST from University of Phoenix Stadium.