College football players are pushing a viral campaign declaring “#WeWantToPlay” as numerous reports circulated Monday warning that the entire season could be scrapped due to concerns over COVID-19.
What are the details?
ESPN reported that on Sunday night, a dozen players from all five major conferences released a video in solidarity calling for the season to go on, while also stating that “players should have the chance to opt out of the upcoming football season and that they should be guaranteed another year of eligibility whether they play this season or not.”
The statement was shared on Twitter by Heisman Trophy candidate and Clemson University quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who the outlet
explained “has been outspoken about his desire to play what would probably be his final collegiate season.”
President Donald Trump retweeted the message, writing, ‘The student-athletes have been working too hard for their season to be cancelled. #WeWantToPlay.”
Other Republicans also joined in the football players’ campaign, with Ohio
Rep. Jim Jordan tweeting, “America needs college football.” Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse — a former university president himself — even penned a letter to the presidents in the Big Ten conference, urging them not to cancel the season.
“Life is about tradeoffs,” Sasse wrote. “There are no guarantees that college football will be completely safe — that’s absolutely true. But the structure and discipline of football programs is very likely safer than what the lived experience of 18- to 22-year-olds will be if there isn’t a season.”
Sasse’s letter was sent the same day Nebraska head coach
Scott Frost told reporters, “Our University is committed to playing no matter what, no matter what that looks like and how that looks. We want to play no matter who it is or where it is.”
Detroit Free Press cited multiple unnamed sources reporting that presidents of the Big Ten schools “voted 12-2 to end the season,” although the conference denied that any official tally had yet occurred.
The Washington Examiner pointed to sportscaster Dan Patrick disclosing that he had been told “the Big 10 and Pac-12 will cancel their football seasons tomorrow…The ACC and the Big 12 are on the fence. And the SEC is trying to get teams to join them for a season.”
As far the SEC goes, it appears Ole Miss is on board to play. Head coach Lane Kiffin tweeted, “Our players want to play! Our staff wants to coach them! I’m so proud of our team #WeWantToPlay.”
Last Wednesday, the University of Connecticut , which last month officially left the American Athletic Conference, canceled its football season because of concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
The 2020 college football schedule kicks off in Week Zero on Saturday, Aug. 29.