Coaches and players are resisting the idea of postponement of the US college football season. Using the hashtag #WeWantToPlay, they took to Twitter to express their intention to play this fall semester.
President Donald Trump sided with the players, tweeting that “student-athletes have been working too hard for their season to be canceled,” in response to Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence’s post to play in the fall season.
Senator Ben Sasse, a former university president, has drafted a letter identifying why college football should be played this fall. Canceling will mean closing down socially-distance, structured programs for “these young men [that] need a season,” he reasoned.
Echoing the sentiment against cancellation of the season, Ohio State University head football coach Ryan Day said a postponement would be better to allow more time for reevaluation.
“We owe it to these kids to exhaust every single option we can and then we go ahead from there,” he said to ESPN2.
Top leaders from US college sports, including the “Power Five” athletic conferences, on Sunday discussed the postponement of the fall sports season.
The “Power Five” conferences consist of the Big Ten Conference, The Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big 12 Conference, the Pac-12 Conference, and the Southeastern Conference. The members of these five athletic conferences are part of the NCAA Division I, the highest level of college-level football in the US.
— Coach Sam Pittman (@CoachSamPittman) August 10, 2020
Commissioners from the Power Five conferences talked about trying to collaborate on postponement or cancellation of fall sports to ESPN. While no decision has been reached, the discussions will continue.
Health Risks and Concerns
The debate comes as more than 5 million coronavirus cases have been reported in the US. “We know there’s a risk. If we cancel football, the virus isn’t going to go away,” said Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney to CNN.
Apart from football, the fall collegiate sports include soccer, volleyball, field hockey, and basketball. The NCAA has already canceled the men’s and women’s 2020 basketball tournaments, and remaining spring and winter championships in mid-march.