College Football Players Uniting In Effort To Save 2020 Season

College football players are standing up and using their voices to impact the sport – something that is "probably overdue," Matt Murschel explains

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
August 11, 2020 - 8:46 am
Trevor Lawrence Clemson

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In recent days, with the 2020 college football season seemingly on life support, players have taken to Twitter to voice their displeasure with potentially canceling the season before it begins. Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State’s Justin Fields have even called for a players’ union using the hashtag #WeWantToPlay.

It’s been incredible to see players around the country standing up and uniting behind a singular cause.

“It’s been kind of building up over the last couple years,” Orlando Sentinel college football reporter Matt Murschel said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence, “but this is the first time I can remember that players have stood up in a unified format and said, ‘Listen, we want to play football. This is what we’ve been doing. We’ve been following all the protocols that have been in place. We’re doing everything you’ve asked us to do to stay safe and now you’re telling us that’s not enough for some reason and we need to shut things down and not play football.’ 

“I think that just goes to show you what we’re going to see in the future is a group of players finding their voice and trying to get conference leaders – presidents, athletic directors – to pay more attention to them. They feel like – and rightfully so in some regards – we’re the ones putting our lives on the line. We’re the ones going out there and playing during this pandemic. Obviously you benefit from this. You make millions of dollars off this, [which] can save your athletic departments, so we should have a bigger say in what’s going on.”

Murschel expects that to continue in the future.

“I think it’s something that eventually we’re going to see more of over the next couple years, and I think it’s something that is probably overdue for quite some time,” he said. “The players feel like you’re making billions of dollars [off] us; we should have a larger say in how things maybe are done, especially when it involves us and the safety protocols.”

On Monday, Big Ten presidents had reportedly decided to cancel the 2020 season. But then players and coaches took to social media in hopes of making them reconsider.

“They didn’t feel like it was fair for them to have their seasons basically cut down before they even had a chance to play them,” Murschel said. “And then we saw more of that – not just the players, we saw coaches. Jim Harbaugh [put] out a statement on what he thought they should be playing for. You’ve seen Ryan Day really be passionate about this idea, that it wasn’t fair for the players not to be able to play their season, that there should be more of a discussion about this among Big Ten leadership, and I think, in the end, that maybe caught the presidents’ attention. This wasn’t a decision they could make on their own. They had to really kind of sit down and talk about this with their players and coaches and see what the right decision is. I think that maybe could have swayed things over to the idea that the Big Ten may wait a month or two and kick the season off.”