Irish’s Kelly threatens CFP boycott if no families


Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said Friday if the Irish are chosen to make the College Football Playoff, they would consider not playing if families are not allowed to attend the semifinal game.

During a Zoom call previewing the ACC championship game, Kelly made pointed remarks about the need to have families attend the games.

“I’m not sure we’ll play in the playoffs if the parents can’t be there,” Kelly said. “Why would be we play if you can’t have families at the game? If you can’t have families at bowl games, why would you go to a game where your families can’t be part of it? What’s the sense of playing a game in an area of the country where nobody can be part of it?”

The issue of attendance at the semifinal sites came to the forefront this week, after the College Football Playoff said it expected to keep one of the sites at the Rose Bowl, as scheduled.

The problem with that site in particular is that Los Angeles County public health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer told ESPN last month that sporting events, including pro and college football, will “remain spectator-free” after the county announced a stay-at-home order.

Kelly said he would be in favor of having the Rose Bowl game moved to another location.

CFP executive director Bill Hancock said earlier this week they are hoping that the state of California will ease its COVID-19 stadium restrictions and allow players’ families to attend the game in Pasadena, California.

“Maybe they [CFP] need to spend a little less time on who the top 4 teams are and figure out how to get parents into these games because it is an absolute shame and a sham if parents can’t be watching their kids play,” Kelly said. “My kids have been on campus since June. They haven’t seen their families very much at all. They’ve had to fight through COVID, some of them have had COVID. They 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.

“Somebody’s got to wake up in that room and figure this out or you might as well call this the professional league. I am so sick and tired of this playoff committee talking about having sites where you can’t have parents at and their families. It’s ridiculous.”

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