Drew Angerer / Getty ImagesLSU quarterback Joe Burrow shakes hands with President Donald Trump during an event to honor the national champion Tigers in the East Room of the White House on Jan. 17, 2020. (Drew Angerer / Getty Images)
With reports indicating the coming college football season is in serious doubt, President Donald Trump weighed in Monday in support of the players who want to take the field this fall.
Conference officials and school presidents have been discussing the possibility of canceling the season because of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, many of the top players in the nation made it clear over the weekend that they do not want to see their countless hours of preparation go to waste.
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence was a driving force in the #WeWantToPlay social media campaign to push against the season’s cancellation.
Trump on Monday showed his support for the effort, sharing a post from Lawrence.
“The student-athletes have been working too hard for their season to be cancelled. #WeWantToPlay,” the president wrote, sharing the quarterback’s post with the same hashtag.
Lawrence’s post contained a graphic with the logos of the Power 5 conferences and said, “We all want to play football this season.”
The #WeWantToPlay movement’s platform asks for “universal mandated health and safety procedures and protocols to protect college athletes against COVID-19 among all conferences throughout the NCAA.”
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Players further want the opportunity “to opt out” of the season with guaranteed “eligibility whether a player chooses to play the season or not.”
#WeWantToPlay also asks to “establish open communication and trust between players and officials: Ultimately create a College Football Players Association.”
Trump followed up with another tweet Monday that said, simply, “Play College Football!”
It remains to be seen if efforts by the president and the players will be enough to prevent college football from being shut down this fall.
“It doesn’t look good,” an athletic director told ESPN.
Still, players around the country are signaling they want to have a say in what will become of their season.
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh added his voice to the #WeWanttoPlay chorus on Monday.
ESPN analyst and former Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy speculated that the #WeWanttoPlay movement might be the only thing that could save the season at this point.
“Ultimately, I don’t know if it will make a difference, but it feels like the players are the only people that can make a season happen,” McElroy wrote.
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