College Football Playoff National Championship: Clemson Confirms NCAA Granted More Practice Time


The NCAA granted the Clemson Tigers permission to go beyond the typical practice limitations for football teams have when school is in session.

Clemson will be no longer have to worry about staying under the 20-hour limit on team activities ahead of the College Football Playoff National Championship, the team announced Wednesday on its website. Players with approval from the professors will also be allowed to miss classes on Thursday.

Clemson's spring semester began Wednesday and subjected the football team to NCAA rules limiting practices and meetings to 20 hours per week, ESPN reported. Alabama's semester does not start until after the title game, so the team has no such limit on practices this week.

"We're appreciative of the NCAA working with us in granting this limited waiver request to assist in our preparations for next Monday's game while maintaining our commitment to student-athlete welfare," Clemson Athletic Director Dan Radakovich said in the statement. "As Coach Swinney pointed out, this was not going to be a big difference maker in our team's schedule, but it's great they've reached a solution that prioritizes the well-being of our student-athletes while allowing them to adequately prepare for the National Championship."

In last year's national title game, Ohio State had no limit for practices and team meetings, whereas Oregon did. Joshua Perry, an Ohio State linebacker, said student-athletes are used to balancing classwork and their sport, but admitted his team had a bit of an advantage.

"I would say the one thing that was advantageous to us was we weren't worried about getting a new syllabus or shaking a professor's hand and trying to figure things out for a semester," he told ESPN. "Is that a huge advantage? No, because you go the whole season doing the same thing anyway. You're in class, and you've got to game-plan."

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