Somewhat lost within all the COVID talk in the sports world is the fact that a group of college players in the PAC 12 are talking about striking and not playing football (if there is football to be played) this season.
The group has athletes from 10 schools and they speak of being dissatisfied with how their universities are handling the coronavirus, an approach they say prioritizes money over safety. They also want the conference to address social injustice and they want schools to split profits with them.
The players said that playing a contact sport like football during the outbreak would be reckless because of health risks and a lack of uniform safety measures.
It is easy to applaud the group’s effort on creating a safer environment if and when college football is played this fall. And who is against social injustice. But asking for 50 percent of revenue is a bit far-fetched. I have to believe they realize that profits off of football and basketball pay for the non-revenue sports at universities.
One has to hope that asking for an outlandish amount of money will not cost the group credibility. The health risks of all college athletes needs to be addressed, and quickly as September is closing in on us. Dialogue spent on revenue sharing will take away from the health issues.
One problem with college athletics in regards to COVID is that the NCAA has chosen to let each school address the health needs of their athletes. There will not be any uniformity across the country. We have watched the professional league struggle all summer trying to come up with a plan to resume sports. Some ideas have worked, some have not. College athletes need protection if games are to be played. And right now, there is not a universal plan.
Therefore, the Pac-12 players represent the first collective effort to question why players are assuming so much risk. This movement is likely to gain momentum as athletes across the country will likely join up with their peers in the PAC 12.