Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly says Irish may not play in College Football Playoff if families can’t attend

No. 2 Notre Dame will play No. 3 Clemson on Saturday in the ACC championship game in Charlotte, given the college football playoffs. The undefeated Irishman Fighting has already knocked down the Tigers once and could lose and make another semifinal – one of which is at the Rose Bowl.

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly has a slight problem if his team wins a berth in everyone’s grandmother. COVID-19 local and regional regulations prevent Rose Bowl from having fans in attendance, including friends and families of players and coaches. Kelly doesn’t want any part of the game if the families can’t be there.

“If I’m not sure if we’ll play in the playoffs if my parents can’t be there,” he said in the press conference on Friday before the ACC Championship Game. “Why can’t it be the Rose Bowl in Las Vegas? Why can’t it be the Rose Bowl in another city? Where’s the flexibility? The only thing these kids have been on is incredibly flexible.”

Kelly continued to criticize the tradition associated with the game.

“We worship the ashes of tradition,” he said. “They don’t think about student-athletes and that’s the problem.”

CBS Sports lead writer Dennis Dodd reported earlier this week that the College Football Playoff steering committee is considering moving the Southern California national semifinals. One possible destination, according to Dodd, is AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home of the Cotton Bowl – which is one of two semifinal locations following the 2021 season.

“Maybe they need to spend a little less time on who the top four teams are and figure out how to draw parents into these games, because it’s an absolute shame and a prank if parents can’t watch their kids play.” said Kelly. “My children have been on campus since June. They didn’t see their families at all. They had to fight through COVID, some of them had COVID. I can’t be around their families for Christmas and you’re going to tell me we’re going to have a playoff and maybe one site can have families and the other can’t? Please. “

Of course, Notre Dame still has something to do. Even if it is probably a CFP offer, on Saturday he still has a game against the strong Clemson to deal with first. After all, it would be the first (and perhaps only) ACC title for the independent Fighting Irish.

Speaking about it, Clemson’s coach, Dabo Swinney, shared similar thoughts on Friday, but did not say that his team will not go to the Rose Bowl if families are not allowed.

“There are a lot of places. If it doesn’t work (to have fans at the Rose Bowl), throw it away and push it until next year,” he said. “Try to be fair to the four teams in the playoffs. There are a lot of places where you can have fans and an atmosphere for the players who have worked so hard all year.”

The Tigers and Irish fighters will do so on Saturday at 4pm at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.