Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, Ohio State’s Justin Fields and other top college football stars on Sunday appeared to be unified in their stance to play the 2020 season despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Lawrence and Fields were among those who tweeted a statement under the logo of the Power 5 conferences – the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12 – with the hashtags #WeAreUnited and #WeWantToPlay. Their statement included a list of demands to make sure the season is safe for all of the student-athletes who decide they want to step onto the football field.
“We all want to play football this season,” the message read. “Establish universal mandated health & safety procedures and protocols to protect college-athletes against COVID-19 among all conferences throughout the NCAA. Give players the opportunity to opt out and respect their decision. Guarantee eligibility whether a player chooses to play the season or not. Use our voices to establish open communication and trust between players and officials; ultimately create a College Football Players Association [with] representatives of the players of all Power 5 conferences.”
Lawrence also tweeted separate messages about the upcoming season and why he thinks student-athletes should be able to get to play.
“People are at just as much, if not more risk, if we don’t play. Players will all be sent home to their own communities where social distancing is highly unlikely and medical care and expenses will be placed on the families if they were to contract covid19,” the star quarterback wrote.
“Not to mention the players coming from situations that are not good for them/ their future and having to go back to that. Football is a safe haven for so many people. We are more likely to get the virus in everyday life than playing football. Having a season also incentivizes -"
“Players being safe and taking all of the right precautions to try to avoid contracting covid because the season/ teammates safety is on the line. Without the season, as we’ve seen already, people will not social distance or wear masks and take the proper precautions.”
Other top college football stars followed suit.
It’s unclear what the Power 5 conferences are thinking in regard to the 2020 season. Each conference has already created an in-conference schedule for each team to limit travel around the country. The ACC has even included Notre Dame in the scheduling process.
Sources told ESPN the commissioners met on Sunday to discuss the possibility of not playing football in the fall. However, no decisions were ultimately made. Big Ten presidents are reportedly ready to nix college football and wanted to see whether other conferences were feeling the same way.
The Mid-American Conference was the first Football Bowl Subdivision conference to push fall sports to the spring.
“No one has talked about a plan if the season is canceled,” West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons, who is the chair of the Football Oversight Committee, told ESPN. “If it's canceled, we need to be able to give clear direction at that time, as opposed to saying, 'We don't know.’”