Two major college football conferences are set to hold meetings Tuesday amid speculation they could cancel or postpone the upcoming season over coronavirus concerns. Meanwhile, a growing number of athletes are joining a social media campaign started by Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, #WeWantToPlay, in the hopes of saving the season.
Florida State offensive lineman Andrew Boselli, one of the student-athletes supporting the bid to save the season, had tested positive earlier in the spring. Though he called the virus “serious,” he said he was confident the university can keep student-athletes safe.
“Football is what I love to do,” he told CBS News’ David Begnaud. “We just worked very hard in the offseason to prepare ourselves for this fall season.”
The #WeWantToPlay campaign also caught the attention of President Trump, who tweeted, “The student-athletes have been working too hard for their season to be cancelled.”
With just 18 days left until the start of the season, the athletes hope their social media campaign can make an impact on the ongoing debate. Changes to the Big Ten and Pac-12 conference seasons could set off a wave of cancellations across the NCAA.
“Sources have told me at this time, it kind of looks like the band right now playing on the Titanic,” Stadium Network college football reporter Brett McMurphy said.
Two smaller conferences the Mid-American Conference and the Mountain West, have already canceled their seasons. Players at larger programs like the University of Texas, Michigan State and Clemson have already tested positive for COVID-19.
McMurphy said he expects the major conferences will cancel or delay their seasons with the next three weeks.
“Bottom line is, they’re not going to take a chance because of the unknown impact of COVID. Kind of similar to 20 years ago, we really didn’t know the long-term impact of concussions,” he said.
Canceling the season, he said, could have negative ripple effects past the NCAA community.
“Not only are college athletic departments going to be decimated, but also a lot of college towns economically,” he said.
The main concern for athletic directors and university presidents is apparently reports of student-athletes developing a heart condition after being infected with COVID-19.
As of right now the ACC, where both Florida State and the University of Miami play, says it “absolutely” intends to hold its season.