Within a few hours on Sunday night, a dozen college football players from all five major conferences came together to make a joint statement, expressing their willingness to play the 2020 season and the shared items they wanted to ensure a safe and fair environment Feel the need to address. For student-athletes going forward. The unprecedented national push for unity comes as a week in college sports threatens to bring about another significant change.
In a statement released on social media before Sunday midnight and shared by dozens of college players, the group called for a uniform health and safety protocol to combat the coronovirus epidemic and to form future college football players’ associations Expressed his intentions The statement also said that players should have a chance to opt out of the upcoming football season and be guaranteed another year of eligibility, whether they play this season or not.
– Trevor Lawrence (@Trevorlawrencee) 10 August 2020
“The beautiful thing is we’re all on the same page now,” said Stanford defensive lineman Dylan Bowles, one of the players who organized Sunday’s message. “We made history tonight.”
Bowles said he received a direct message from Clemson on Twitter to bring Darren Rencher back at 5:30 pm on Sunday. The two had never spoken before, but Rencher wanted to discuss the Pac-12 players’ unity movement that included Bowles. Bowles is one of the leaders of a group of about 400 players in the Pac-12 who published a list of demands early last week and said that if conference officials were not ready to meet and address him, So they plan to sit out of practice and possible games. Their concerns. Players from the Big Ten and other conferences made similar demands, and others showed their support throughout the week on social media with the hashtag #WeAreUnited.
Reincher was one of dozens of college football players – a list that included his Heisman Trophy-candidate teammate, quarterback Trevor Lawrence – who shared the hashtag #WeWantToPlay this weekend, as college football administrators debate the merits of the 2020 season Met to do. Rencher and others felt that fans and commentators casually misrepresented #WeWantToPlay against the #WeAreUnited group, Bowles said. Rencher, Bowles and Lawrence briefly spoke on FaceTime Call before deciding to loop in more players across the country.
“We got down to talking and agreed that both of our goals align with each other,” Bowles said. “We all want to play this year. We just want to make sure what the players have to say in this matter.”
The players organized a zoom call within an hour involving players from teams in all five major conferences. Players on call include Lawrence, Bolles, Rencher, Najee Harris in Alabama, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard, Oregon’s Penny Sewell, Johnny Johnson III, Jayvon Holland and Kayvan Thibodeaux, Utah’s Nick Ford, Washington State K. backs included. Dallas Hobbs and Michigan’s Hunter Reynolds.
Several Pac-12 players had previously been involved through the #WeAreUnited group since early July. Reynolds, a junior defensive back for the Wolverines, connected with several players through another organization he called a college athlete Unity earlier this summer. He helped organize the movement of Big Ten players over the past several weeks.
Reynolds said Sunday night, “There is a feeling that this is something frightening and something that feels long overdue.” “I think now it’s finally happening.”
Bowles said the players spoke for more than 30 minutes before deciding to issue a brief message to share key takeaways from their conversations. He stated that he unanimously agreed on the subjects mentioned in the statement. He also said there was quick and universal support to push to create a sports association that would give all college athletes – not just football players – a voice in the decision-making process in the future.
Both Reynolds and Bolles said their top priority is to address concerns about the epidemic as soon as possible. He said he hopes to open a line of communication with administrators and other officials in college sports, which will eventually lead to a players association similar to those groups with a proverb in major decisions made by the league in professional sports. Provide athletes for whom they play.
Bowles said he hopes the players association can serve as a gateway towards greater change to benefit all college athletes in the future. The next step in that process, the players say, will be a meeting with the NCAA and conference leaders.
Players asked Hobbs, a sophomore defensive lineman with experience in graphic design, to create a graphic for everyone on social media. Before midnight on Sunday, less than four hours after Bolles and Rencher first connected, the message was released.
“Right now social media is so prevalent that it is easier than ever to unite players,” Reynolds said. “You can connect with people in a matter of seconds, making it much easier to bounce ideas off each other and find out how people are feeling in different parts of the country and actually make a plan Huh.”
Bowles said he believed the epidemic and protests for racial justice this summer created a situation where more players felt the need to speak. Bose said the Pac-12 group he once met with league commissioner Larry Scott. He said the players were able to voice their concerns, but did not resolve any of their disagreements. Bowles said Scott and league officials did not commit to having another meeting with the players and turned down the request to allow the players to hire and have legal representation in the discussion.
Bowles said that he and other players started streamlining their efforts in early July and Sunday’s quick-development was the “crown jewel” of unity they were trying to achieve.
“It was a long time coming,” Bowles said. “It was unavoidable. It was just a matter of how quickly we could pull it off. We were running against the clock. We want to play. We just want to do it the right way.”