After Pac-12 football players threatened to boycott the season this week, the NCAA has addressed three of the players’ key demands.
Wall Street Journal reporter Laine Higgins tweeted today that the NCAA Board of Directors will meet three major player demands:
- Honoring scholarships for student-athletes who opt out of playing the season due to COVID-19 concerns
- Not allowing schools to have their athletes sign COVID liability waivers
- Requiring schools to pay for student-athletes’ COVID-related medical expenses
The players’ demands ranged from health protections amid the coronavirus pandemic to name-image-likeness reform to social justice issues. The early returns from the NCAA are addressing the health- and COVID-related pieces of the players’ demands. Still unaddressed are a number of issues. They include calls for guaranteed medical expense coverage for athletes even after their college participation ends, revenue distribution to student-athletes, and more engagement from schools and the conference to address racial injustice in society and in college sports.
Pac-12 football players announced their intention to boycott the season in a letter published this week. At the time, the letter was signed “Pac-12 football players,” without specific names or any info on how many athletes approved the letter. Higgins’ tweet, though, names and quotes several players involved in the movement.
“When we as players are united, our voices will be heard,” said Washington State football player Dallas Hobbs. “These are important victories, but players still don’t have any uniform, enforceable COVID standards to keep players safe.”
The tweet also quotes USC’s Chase Williams, Oregon’s Thomas Graham Jr, and Utah’s Nick Ford. Cal cross country runner Andrew Cooper is also quoted, calling for the NCAA to allow athletes an extra year of eligibility if they opt out of the season.