Tuesday was a tough day for everyone in the college football community. From conference leadership all the way down to fans and alumni, hearing the decision from the Pac-12 Conference to officially postpone the 2020 football season was not fun.
I’m going to put the journalistic standards I learned at the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication aside for a second and just come out and say it.
If the news was hard to hear for me and you, I can’t imagine what it felt like for the players who were gearing up to go play a football game in just over a month were feeling.
One group of players that are making their feelings known about the decision is a group that has been in the news a lot recently: The Pac-12’s #WeAreUnited unity group.
The Group started last week when players from 11 of the schools in the Pac-12 threatened to sit out the 2020 season if the Conference didn’t meet a list of demands, including strict COVID-19 protocol.
After tides changed and reports indicated that the Pac-12 and Big Ten were considering sitting out the fall season, the group changed tactics. They combined with a similar group in the Big Ten, as well as players from other Power Five conferences to tell conference leaders that they want to play this fall, but need stricter COVID-19 protocols, while also bringing up the idea of a players association for college athletes.
Now that the decision has been made to skip the fall season, while hoping to play in the spring, the Pac-12 unity group is speaking up again, and they’re not happy with how the decision was made by conference leadership.
Pac-12 players on the conference’s cancellation of sports for the rest of 2020 #WeAreUnited pic.twitter.com/kGUIfq7SJA— Laine Higgins (@lainehiggins17) August 12, 2020
“We are disappointed in the Pac-12 and NCAA leaders who failed to use preceding months to prioritize our health and safety to give us the best chance at having a successful season,” the group wrote in their statement. “It was obvious, however, the Pac-12 was more concerned with stifling our ability to organize and in protecting the institution of exploiting college athletes than protecting our safety.”
The group went on to say they felt ignored by conference leadership throughout the process. They criticized the Pac-12 for their lack of communication and transparency, using that as the main reason why they need some form of representation.
“The Pac-12’s failures have made it clear that the time for change is now. The system is broken. College athletes deserve and need a real voice in the form of a players association.”
The statement also asked that players receive a additional year of eligibility and continue to have access to various athletic benefits, including meals and medical treatment. The conference has confirmed that will continue to offer those services and will lobby the NCAA to provide eligibility if a season is not played this spring.
Pac-12 player unity group criticizes conference's postponement decision
"The Pac-12's failures have made it clear that the time for change is now. The system is broken. College athletes deserve and need a real voice in the form of a players association."
Washington State won't play football in fall after Pac-12 postponement; all sports delayed until Jan. 1 | The Spokesman-Review
Nick Rolovich was prepared to wait eight months to coach his first practice at Washington State.
John Blanchette: Lack of any truly optimistic choices perfectly sums up of our corona summer | The Spokesman-Review
With its proclaimed priority being the health, safety and welfare of its athletes, the Pac-12 on Tuesday opted out of college football in 2020. . . and unleashed the possibility of playing two seasons in a single calendar year.
Pac-12 postpones all sports through end of year
The Pac-12, following a decision from the Big Ten, voted to postpone all sports, including football and basketball, through the end of the year.
Finished a Zoom meeting with our fall student-athletes. Nothing fills my heart like hearing “Go Cougs” from our student-athletes to conclude the meeting. Grit is in their Coug DNA. We will go forward together! #GoCougs https://t.co/2cokhOIVJx— Pat Chun (@pat_chun) August 11, 2020
It is always a different view if you are the man/women in the arena. You understand the blood sweat sacrifice and tears that is required. I would ask that the public understand the thousands of lives these decisions impact and think before you press Tweet. https://t.co/3DJHgsOCpB— Jacob Dickert (@CoachDickert) August 11, 2020
Steven M. Sipple: Even with recent speculation, Big Ten's big move feels jarring on home front | Huskers | columbustelegram.com
Former WSU player and AD, now at Nebraska, Bill Moos seems deadset on his new squad playing this fall... No matter what the Big Ten says.