As the possibility of the 2020 season’s cancellation picked up steam, members of the Texas Tech football program joined the #WeWantToPlay movement to try to save the season.
The 2020 college football season is at a crossroads and players across the nation are trying to join together in order to preserve their opportunity to play the game they love this fall. And a number of Texas Tech football players have joined the #WeWantToPlay movement that took Twitter by storm on Monday.
Spearheaded by one of the most prominent players in the game, Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence, hundreds of college football players took to social media to give some insight on how they feel about possibly playing the upcoming season during the ongoing global pandemic.
It was a response to recent decisions by the MAC and Mountain West conferences to postpone fall sports. And the reports Monday that the Big 10 had also voted to put off fall sports until the spring truly set this movement into motion as the possibility of losing football this fall seems more realistic than ever.
Being as there is no union for college athletes, the only voice they have is their own independent voices, which were unified in the #WeWantToPlay movement. And several Red Raiders including Eric Monroe, Brandon Bouyer Randle, SaRodorick Thompson, Tahj Brooks, Kobee Minor, Austin McNamara, and Trey Wolff joined in. But there remains significant resistance to their wishes and most of it is coming from university presidents who likely fear potential liability repercussions should a worst-case scenario unfold.
According to the Detroit Free Press, “Multiple sources said early Monday morning that [Big 10] presidents voted 12-2 to end the season, though the Big Ten said Monday afternoon no official vote had taken place. Dan Patrick, who first reported the 12-2 vote, said on his radio show that Iowa and Nebraska were the two schools in favor of playing.”
But not everyone in the Big 10 is toeing the company line. In fact, a pair of prominent head coaches spoke out Monday in favor of playing the season as currently scheduled.
Citing the fact that his program has had just 11 positive tests out of 893 administered, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh voiced his support of a 2020 season via a letter on Monday.
“This isn’t easy,” Harbaugh wrote. “This is hard. It is proven that the conduct, discipline and structure within our program have led to these stellar results. We respect the challenge that the virus has presented however we will not cower from it. We have developed a great prototype for how we can make this work and provide the opportunity for players to play. If you are transparent and follow the rules, this is how it can be done.
Meanwhile, Nebraska head coach Scott Frost took a much more brash stance. In fact, he spoke as if his program would be willing to defy the orders of its own conference.
“We want to play a Big Ten schedule,” Frost said in a press conference Monday afternoon. “Our university is committed to playing no matter what, no matter what that looks like and how that looks. …We certainly hope it’s in the Big Ten. If it isn’t, I think we’re prepared to look for other options.”
Frost then went on to say that the safest place for his players, he believes, is under the guidance of the football program.
But as has been the case throughout this unfolding situation, the Big 12 seems to be taking a wait and see attitude. As of the publication of this piece, there have been no reports that any official word from the conference is imminent. What’s more, conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby said there are currently no plans to cancel the 2020 season.
Bowlsby stated to the Des Moines Register Sunday night that, “There’s no immediate movement for the Big 12 Conference to shut down the 2020 fall football season.
“I’ve literally been on dozens of calls with doctors and scientists, and no one has told us to stop. We’ll keep trying to move ahead, although it would be less than forthright to sit here and not add that the last 30 days has not gone the way we like. That has to be factored into the decision process. We’ve probably not made progress, but we’ve had no one tell us to shut it down.”
So for now, most college football fans remain in limbo as we wait to find out whether or not there will be any semblance of a 2020 season. But what we do know is that most of the Texas Tech football players want to play.