Even if the Pac-12 plays football this fall, it’s possible that several players from multiple teams hold out due to their frustration with the league.
According to ESPN insiders Adam Rittenberg, Mark Schlabach and Tom VanHaaren, a group of Pac-12 players are threatening to opt out of the 2020 season if the conference doesn’t meet their list of demands.
That list includes concerns over the league’s ability to offer safety during pandemic. Additionally, the players want the Pac-12 to show its support in the fight against racial injustice in the United States. Other issues include fair compensation, protecting all sports and obtaining long-term health insurance.
Sources close to this group of players told ESPN that a statement could be made as early as this weekend. How the Pac-12 responds to that statement could dictate who doesn’t play this fall.
A group of #Pac12 players is threatening to opt out of preseason training and games unless the league meets their demands around safety during the pandemic, compensation and other issues.
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) August 1, 2020
Rittenberg stated that how the Pac-12 addresses racial injustice is the focal point of the group’s demands.
The Pac-12 has adopted a conference-only schedule for the 2020 season, so the upcoming campaign will already look different than years past.
If players from multiple teams sit out, it could potentially change the landscape of the Pac-12. According to the report from ESPN, the schools that have the most players involved in this potential holdout are Cal, Oregon, Stanford and UCLA.
This is definitely a situation worth monitoring as we inch closer to the college football season.