A group of including potentially “hundreds” of Pac-12 football players is planning a possible boycott of the upcoming football season if its list of demands is not met, according to a report Saturday from ESPN.
The group plans to voice its concerns regarding the major issues that have swirled around college athletics and society at large this year: playing conditions that would protect them from COVID-19, racial injustice, and securing athletes’ value within the multi-billion dollar industry that is college athletics.
Racial injustice is reportedly at the top of the players’ concerns, but it also has not gone unnoticed that the Pac-12 is gearing up to start a fall football season in a time where most Pac-12 students were told to stay home.
The group is reportedly seeking a written contract with the Pac-12 requiring the conference to meet their demands, similar to how professional leagues operate under collective bargaining agreements with their players’ unions. The group is being advised by Ramogi Huma, who assisted Northwestern in its 2014 union push and who happens to be a former UCLA linebacker.
The conference released a statement saying it has yet to hear from the group. A public statement from said group is expected as soon as Sunday.
“Neither the Conference nor our university athletics departments have been contacted by this group regarding these topics,” a Pac-12 statement said. “We support our student-athletes using their voice and have regular communications with our student-athletes at many different levels on a range of topics. As we have clearly stated with respect to our fall competition plans, we are, and always will be, directed by medical experts, with the health, safety and well being of our student athletes, coaches and staff always the first priority. We have made it clear that any student athlete who chooses not to return to competition for health or safety reasons will have their scholarship protected.”
Pac-12 schools are slated to begin enhanced summer workouts on Monday, so the rubber should meet the road soon.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.