Protecting the well-being of all athletes.
On Wednesday, more than 1,000 Big Ten football players released an article on The Players’ Tribune website which laid out the concerns and requests for the upcoming 2020 season. With a gentle tongue in cheek shot at the NCAA for not coming up with a comprehensive plan, the players have raised their concerns and demands to be protected in a unity proposal to the conference.
The full article can be found here, but a highlight of the players' requests is an automatic medical redshirt for any player that has to miss time due to a positive COVID-19 test or a mandatory quarantine due to tracing. The players are also seeking to be educated in real-time on the risks that each player takes on for themselves and their families. One of the more interesting requests is for whistleblower protections for athletes that report a violation of standard safety measures, which considering the culture of college football and the rampant misuse of the word "toughness", is a worthy inclusion.
With so much still unknown a month away from the season, players expressing concerns that the NCAA has failed to deliver a comprehensive safety plan have decided to take measures in their own hands. The #BIGTENUNITED is similar to the request that the Pac-12 players released earlier this week with their requirements for the season. The Big Ten announced the 2020 schedule earlier and now we will wait and see how this will all unfold.