A group of Pac-12 football players with the #WeAreUnited movement met with officials from the California governor’s office Tuesday to discuss concerns about their schools’ COVID-19 protocols and protecting their college eligibility.
Meanwhile, the NCAA's highest governing body put off a decision on whether to conduct fall championship events, and is moving toward passing on making that call altogether.
The Pac-12 players hope an executive order from Gov. Gavin Newsom could mandate player-approved, third-party oversight of COVID-19 rules at the Pac-12′s four California schools and ensure players who opt out of the coming season because of coronavirus won’t lose a year of eligibility.
The Pac-12 has said athletes who opt out will stay on scholarship this season, but whether they would be allowed to preserve their eligibility in that situation is undetermined.
“We really want to be able to move a little faster in getting heath guidelines out there for us,” California offensive lineman Valentino Daltoso told AP during a conference call with several players from the group. “The eligibility piece is huge for us. If you were to opt out without eligibility guarantees you could be effectively ending your eligibility. The governor's office can help us with that.”
A request from comment from the California governor's office was not immediately returned.
After about a month organizing behind the scenes, the players took their movement public Sunday, issuing with a lengthy list of demands related to healthy and safety, racial injustice and economic rights. They say if the demands are not addressed they will opt out of the season.
Elsewhere in college sports, the NCAA Board of Governors met Tuesday to consider canceling or postponing fall championships — in sports such as soccer, volleyball and lower-division football — in all three divisions.