People might be waking up to a social media timeline or news feed today without much knowledge of what went down over the weekend in terms of if college football will be played this season or not. If you spent the last few days on a boat or hanging out in the yard, you may have missed a lot.
Here’s our best attempt to bring you up to speed at what has become a crazy time on all sides of the spectrum for the feasibility of college sports in a pandemic.
Wednesday — Big Ten announces conference only schedules
The conferences made its slate of games official last week with built-in dates to move things around if need be, though commissioner Kevin Warren was up front about the possibility of no games still being played.
“Even though we have a schedule and we have student-athletes working out on our campuses, it is not a guarantee that we will have a football season or that we’ll have fall sports,” Big Ten comissioner Kevin Warren said to The Athletic. “Releasing a schedule does not mean that we’re just pushing forward and ignoring all the medical protocols and procedures. We’ve made it very clear that, if and when we get to the point where it’s not in the best interest of our student-athletes and our Big Ten community, from a health and safety standpoint, to have sports in the fall — regardless of what the sport is — we won’t do it. We’re being very methodical in our thought process.”
In following the lead of the Pac-12 players, the football players in the Big Ten also released a statement urging the NCAA and conferences to put appropriate measures in place to ensure that a season could happen if they expected the players to be on board.
Saturday Morning — Mid-American Conference cancels all fall sports
The MAC became the first FBS school to cancel fall sports during the pandemic, which some have seen as the turning point for conferences ultimately pulling the plug. Nobody has wanted to be the first to do it, but the MAC took that leap over the weekend and now will work to get its ducks in a row to play in the spring.
Sunday — #WeWantToPlay movement emerges
Prominent college football players across the country — including Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State’s Justin Fields — tweeted out messages urging a season to happen because of the work put in and what football means to the communities. At first, this looked to contradict some of the proposals submitted by the united players last week, but the second part of this story will come into play later.
Sunday — Big Ten presidents and chancellors meet to discuss season
Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic reported that Big Ten presidents and chancellors were set to meet on Sunday night to further discuss the logistics of playing sports in the fall. No vote was taken, but she received a reply of: “No decision tonight. Hard to see a path forward.”
Sunday night — Power 5 Commissioners hold meeting
There seems to be disagreements in them media as to whether this was an “emergency meeting” or not, but it does appear that the commissioners met to discuss canceling the fall season and seeing who else would fall in line. Right now, it appears the sticking point is being the first conference to do it if that is where things are indeed heading.
Monday morning, midnight — #WeWantToPlay’s plot twist
What was first though to be a movement that perhaps was colliding with the things the #WeAreUnited movement was fighting for, Lawrence and Fields were among the players to share a graphic saying that both movements were fighting in unison and are requesting a seat at the table for Power 5 football players.
Players from all over the Power 5 have shared the graphic and the hashtag in hopes that these guidelines can be met and that they will eventually be able to create a players association for football. Several Michigan players have shared the hashtag, as well.
It is important to note that under current labor laws, college athletes are not able to officially unionize. However, a unified voice still does allow them the power to collectively bargain.
A robust college football player's association should be a welcome development for anybody who wants NCAA football to come back. That would make group licensing much easier.— Matt Brown (@MattBrownEP) August 10, 2020
Monday morning — Michigan coaches join in on the movement
Offensive coordinator Josh Gattis and safeties coach Bob Shoop are among the college coaches and administrators to support the movement this morning.
#WEWANTTOCOACH— Josh Gattis (@Coach_Gattis) August 10, 2020
Our medical protocol is the standard. The environment we provide is the safest environment physically, mentally, and emotionally for our players! We don’t just coach, We sacrifice, We raise, We protect, and We serve for these young men opportunities of their life! https://t.co/RabBhYJfO8
Monday morning — Dan Patrick reports Big Ten and Pac-12 could cancel by Tuesday, gives details of Big Ten vote
Dan Patrick spoke on his radio show and said that the decision has essentially been made to cancel the fall sports seasons with Big Ten presidents voting in favor of canceling by a margin of 12-2. Nebraska and Iowa were the lone holdouts.
Dan talked to a source that told him the Big Ten had an internal vote over the weekend and only Nebraska and Iowa voted to play this season. 12-2 vote to not play. @dpshow— Paul Pabst (@PaulPabst) August 10, 2020
It looks like it could be a crazy start to the week, so will continue to update this thread should more develop.