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Players unite behind #WeWantToPlay movement

As presidents and commissioners across college sports -- primarily in the Big Ten -- hem and haw, the players got to work.

What started as a simple hashtag grew into a full-fledged movement over the course of a few hours on Sunday night.

That ball started rolling with 45-minute Zoom call organized by Stanford defensive lineman Dylan Boles, Clemson running back Darien Rencher, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard, Oregon offensive lineman Penei Sewell, Alabama running back Najee Harris and others.

First tweeted by Lawrence and then followed by players from dozens of teams across every Power 5 conference, that call formed the beginning stages of what could eventually become a union.


It is entirely reasonable at this point that the players want and deserve a say in their working conditions moving forward, pandemic or not.

Much of what the players are asking for has already been guaranteed by the NCAA and/or the Power 5 conferences. As for the fifth bullet point -- "Ultimately create a College Football Players Association" -- there no details there yet. The push is just hours old, after all. It's reasonable to assume an eventual CFPA would ask for economic rights beyond the cost-of-attendance scholarship offered today.

It just so happens the NCAA is in the process of hammering out legislation that would provide players the right to market their name, image and likeness, as well as the right to transfer once with immediate eligibility. Passing those rules would likely go a long way toward winning the players' goodwill.

In typical college football fashion, the graphic was created by a Washington State player who creates commitment edits in his free time.

It's impossible to say where this effort ends up, but it's clear that the inaction of college sports leadership has created a void that players have now filled.