Update: Since the publication of this article, Barry Alvarez has said Wisconsin will cancel athletic-related activity on Election Day.
In response to the wave of social activism that has swept across college towns over the past two weeks, the NCAA’s Board of Governors on Friday released a statement encouraging all schools to give athletes the day off on Election Day.
Georgia Tech was the first to announce all of its fall and winter teams would go dark on Tuesday, Nov. 3, and a number of schools have since followed.
The Board, which is the highest governing body with an organization that is made up entirely of governing bodies, also recommended athletics departments to help their players register to vote.
The Board of Governors is not mandating an Election Day off-day, but they are encouraging it.
The full statement can be found below:
President Mark Emmert and the NCAA Board of Governors recognize the important role social engagement has on driving positive societal change. The recent demonstrations following the tragic killing of George Floyd showed the world the power of protest and student-athletes across the country were at the center of that movement. We commend NCAA student-athletes who recognized the need for change and took action though safe and peaceful protest. We encourage students to continue to make their voices heard on these important issues, engage in community activism and exercise their Constitutional rights. Further, we encourage all member schools to assist students in registering to vote in the upcoming national election and designate November 3, 2020 as a day off from athletics activity so athletes can vote and participate in their ultimate responsibility as citizens.
At the FBS level, Northern Illinois hosts Buffalo on Election Day, while the following Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights each feature two games, and most everyone is in action that Saturday.
The MAC is now working to reschedule the Buffalo-NIU game.
— #MACtion (@MACSports) June 12, 2020
While offloading an entire day’s worth of in-season work would undoubtedly be a chore — and Tuesdays are heavy work days in the college football week — it could still be done for any program serious about engaging their players in the civic process.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.