After meeting with the conference’s commissioner, the Pac-12 group of players advocating for the “WeAreUnited” movement claimed they were disappointed by the interaction.
On Friday, the athletes sent an email to Larry Scott, Pac-12 Commissioner, accusing him of not considering the issues raised by players to be as severe as possible. This email was shared with the commissioner along with the media.
The Pac-12 players decided to send the email after meeting with Scott over a call on Thursday. Later that day, Scott had sent an email to the athletes reportedly praising their honesty and passion.
There were four main topics discussed in the call: health and safety, playing eligibility, COVID-19 waivers, and opting-out of the season due to coronavirus concerns.
“WeAreUnited” Across Pac-12
The “WeAreUnited” movement advocates for the league to address COVID-19 protocol concerns, racial injustice issues students face in college sports, and economic rights for student-athletes. Pac-12 players have threatened to opt-out of practices and games unless their demands are met.
Leaders of the movement estimate that over 400 other athletes in the Pac-12 conference support the initiative.
The email sent to Scott highlighted the group’s disappointment with Scott’s answers to COVID-19 related questions. Players want to increase the frequency of COVID-19 testing done and better articulate regulatory safety practices across Pac-12. Scott’s responses proved to be dull and unoriginal.
The group of Pac-12 players released a public statement last Sunday in which their demands were included. One of their requests was to be guaranteed daily meetings with Pac-12 officials. Rather than a regular call, the conference agreed to one call last week and continued communication.
Their Best is Not Good Enough
Scott sent his email, including most of what was discussed on his call with 12 of the conference’s athletes. He claims Pac-12 will try to provide the opportunity for the group to speak with the conference’s medical advisory committee. They will also be kept in the loop of work being done at the NCAA level.
The communication will ultimately help determine whether or not student-athletes who choose to opt-out are permitted to retain eligibility.
Scott also reassured the group that no schools playing in the league would be asking athletes to sign liability waivers. He claims Pac-12 schools are committed to maintaining scholarships for those who choose not to play in the upcoming season amid coronavirus concerns.
Many student-athletes struggle with the idea of having to go back to campus and play a hands-on game during COVID-19 in fear of losing their eligibility, player status, or scholarship. As seen in MLB, even professional sports have struggled to maintain top-tier safety protocols.