College Football Players Want A Seat At The Business Table

Let’s talk.  

College football players are revolting, whether that is because of the COVID-19 pandemic, or because of the nationwide protests that erupted after the video of George Floyd dying at the knee of a Minneapolis, Minnesota police officer surfaced or maybe it is just that time in college sports history. The student-athletes want a voice and are threatening to form a players group. Some of the biggest names in today’s college football sports industry business have told the Lords of College Football that they do want to play when the season is supposed to start in late August. The players first demand is rather simple but in a country that is failing to protect citizens from getting COVID-19 it is important. The players have told the power five conferences, the ACC, the SEC, the Big 10, the Big 12 and the Pac 12 they want as much protection as possible in fighting COVID-19. They want the conferences, the individual schools, the athletic directors, the sports information directors and the coaches to respect a players’ decision if he opts out of performing during the 2020 season. Also, if a player does opt out because of COVID-19, don’t count it as a playing season as part of college eligibility.

The players, most of whom are between the ages of 18 and 22, want to talk to the college presidents, chancellors, board or trustees and others in high positions in the college sports industry about issues. Ultimately, the class of 2020 players want to create a College Football Players Association. The NCAA has had a tight grip on so-called student-athletes for more than six decades. The term student-athletes was coined by the NCAA head Walter Byers to make sure a student was not an athletic department employee and was not entitled to various forms of compensation. A college scholarship was enough. The times are changing.

Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence (AP Photo/Richard Shiro, File)