A group of Pac-12 football players are trying to unify and threaten to boycott preseason games and practices until their demands for safety, racial injustice and compensation are met by the conference.
A graphic circulating among players within the conference, and obtained and made public by The Athletic, ESPN and Yahoo Sports, indicates that a public announcement will be made on Monday via The Players’ Tribune and the social media of the group of unidentified players , numbering in the hundreds in schools across the conference.
The graphic states that “our goal is to get a written contract with the Pac-12 that legally guarantees that we have the following protections and benefits,” and goes on to list the following:
- Ensuring Safe Play During COVID-19
- Fight racial injustice
- Guarantee economic rights and fair compensation
- Protect all sports
- Purchase long-term health insurance
The Pac-12 says it has not been contacted by this group of unidentified players, nor any of its members’ athletic departments.
“Neither the Conference nor our university athletics departments have been contacted by this group regarding these matters,” Pac-12 said in a statement. “We support our student-athletes using their voice and have regular communications with our student-athletes at many different levels on a range of topics. As we have made clear in regards to our fall competition plans, we are and always will be led by medical experts, with the health, safety and welfare of our student-athletes, coaches and employees being always the first priority. We have made it clear that any student-athlete who chooses not to return to competition for health or safety reasons will have their scholarship protected. “
On Monday, the University of Oregon’s public records office told The Oregonian / OregonLive that the school had no records responding to a request for “correspondence or a list of requests from Pac student-athletes.” 12 (or their representatives) linked to playing or training for the 2020 and 2021 football seasons. “
On July 17, former Arizona State quarterback Rudy Carpenter, now a private quarterback coach and broadcaster, posted a series of tweets referring to a movement among Pac-12 football players. threatening to boycott if demands for COVID-19 tests and protocols, revenue sharing and long term health insurance have not been met.
The release of the framework of Pac-12 player demands comes a day after the conference announced its revised 10-game football schedule, reserved for the conference for the fall and approval by presidents and chancellors of the conference for football teams to start the 8 pm. per week of mandatory summer training and access visits on Mondays, with fall camps starting August 17.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott noted that these dates, while approved, are not currently viable for some schools in the league. USC and UCLA athletes are currently not permitted to train in indoor gyms, while Oregon Health Authority guidelines do not allow play and contact sports, including including football, which would be problematic for Oregon and the state of Oregon later this month.
When asked on Friday afternoon how convinced he is that there will be a football season this fall, Scott admitted there was great uncertainty.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I think we’re all trying to take one step at a time. We are cautiously optimistic sitting here today. But as Dr (Doug) Aukerman mentioned and which we have tried to strengthen, there are elements beyond our control that are going to have a lot of influence on this issue. What is happening in our communities? What is happening on our campuses? It has a lot to do with wearing a mask, social distancing, other things. What happens when thousands of students return to our campus? None of us have the answer to that question.
“However, we feel a huge obligation for the health and well-being of our student-athletes, including their mental health, to provide every possible opportunity to be able to play. We understand how important it is, be it college football, men’s and women’s football, volleyball, to be able to train with your team, to be able to play, if possible, if it can be safe.
Scott continued, “We understand because we’ve heard loud and clear and I regularly hear directly and indirectly from our student-athletes how important it is to have the structure, to have something that you are passionate about, that they worked. so difficult for them to preserve this opportunity. And that is what we are determined to do: create the opportunity, preserve the opportunity, if health and community conditions allow us to move forward and if public health authorities allow us to ‘go forward. It’s our state of mind. But I can’t make a prediction.