COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - After meeting with healthcare officials on Monday, Sen. Lindsey Graham met with reporters to discuss providing broadband access for areas in need across the state.
However, during that press conference, Graham was about several topics. He even took a moment to discuss the cancelation of this year’s rivalry game between South Carolina and Clemson. Both conferences opted to play only members of their conferences this season due to COVID-19.
“The ACC apparently was willing to play one non-conference game. The SEC, for some reason, told everybody in the conference you’ve got to stay within the conference,” said Graham. “That makes no sense to me. You’ve got Georgia Tech, you’ve got South Carolina, you’ve got some rivalry games out there that have been going on for a very, very long time and I think we have the ability as a state to manage a game between Clemson and South Carolina safely and the idea of stopping this rivalry for the pandemic bothers me. I’m disappointed and I think it’s unacceptable. We can’t let this pandemic stop this rivalry and I’m going to call and object.
“I can’t make them do anything they don’t want to do, but I think I’m speaking for a lot of people who want to see football between Clemson and South Carolina. If’ you’re going to play football, play football in a way that makes sense and, to me, it doesn’t make sense to stop this Clemson-South Carolina game if you’re going to play other games.”
A petition to keep the game alive this season has been created and has more than 1,000 signatures so far.
South Carolina athletics director Ray Tanner said the site of the 2021 Palmetto Bowl has not been discussed at this time. However, Tanner said because the football schedules are built in advance, where that game is played next year could impact each team’s home and away schedules.
Clemson leads South Carolina in the Palmetto rivalry series 71-42-4. This will be the first time the game hasn’t been played since 1908.