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No Christmas at home for Notre Dame football players

Notre Dame University

The Crimson Tide’s opponent in the upcoming Rose Bowl will be spending Christmas in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame University says it’s asking its football players to not travel home for the holidays. Alabama, the Fighting Irish, Clemson, and Ohio State were selected for the two semi-final games ahead of the national title contest in Miami. Notre Dame’s concern over holiday travel for its players is partly over logistics and partly over the coronavirus. Head coach Brian Kelly says it was a tough decision to make.

“Yeah, it’s very difficult. Our roster…our players, we have as many from California as we do from any other state. So, the logistics of it would be virtually impossible for us because of our roster and where everybody’s from.”

The roster for the fighting Irish includes players from as far away as California. Coach Kelly says that made the tough decision to keep the team in town necessary.

“If they were within a few hours where they could drive, we certainly could make this work. But, virtually all of them, or at least a great percentage of them would have to get on planes. So getting on planes…the logistics of doing this…makes it impossible.”

The Rose Bowl game is also being moved from Pasadena, California to AT & T Stadium in Arlington, Texas over concerns related to the coronavirus. The winner of that game will face either Clemson or Ohio State for the title. Those two teams will play in the Sugar Bowl. Alabama defeated Notre Dame for the 2013 BCS College Football championship. APR covered that game for its audience in Alabama, as well as for NPR. Click below to revisit that coverage.

Pat Duggins is news director for Alabama Public Radio.
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