Pac-12 football players urge opt-out amid COVID-19 concerns
UNDATED (AP) - A group of Pac-12 football players say they will not practice or play until their concerns about playing during the COVID-19 pandemic and other racial and economic issues in college sports are addressed.
The players posted a statement Sunday on The Players’ Tribune website and social media with the hashtag #WeAreUnited and sent out a press release. The release listed the names of 12 Pac-12 players from nine schools, including Oregon star safety Jevon Holland, and provided a statement from each one.
It says hundreds of players throughout the Pac-12 are concerned about the risks of COVID-19 and that the conference and NCAA lack transparency, uniformity and adequate enforcement infrastructure.
The Pac-12 on Friday released a revised football schedule for the upcoming season, which because of the pandemic is not guaranteed to be played. The new schedule pushes the start of the season back three weeks to Sept. 26 and includes only 10 conference games. The Pac-12 also announced that 20 hours per week of mandatory team activities for football, including weight training, meetings and unpadded walk-through practices, would be permitted to begin Monday. Preseason practice for Pac-12 schools can begin Aug. 17.
Officials across college football anticipate disruptions this season related to COVID-19. The Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference also announced plans last week to play truncated football seasons with delayed starts.