Dan Patrick: Big Ten, Pac-12 to Cancel 2020 Football; Latest on SEC, ACC, Big 12

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 10, 2020

Fans enter The Bankers Life Fieldhouse for an NCAA college basketball game at the Big Ten Conference tournament in Indianapolis, Thursday, March 12, 2020. The Big Ten Conference announced Thursday, that remainder of the games in the men's NCAA college basketball tournament were cancelled. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

The Big Ten and Pac-12 have reportedly decided to cancel their 2020 football seasons and are set to announce the news Tuesday, according to Dan Patrick.

The ACC, Big 12 and SEC remain in a state of flux, and the SEC is attempting to save the 2020 season by inviting some schools to join the conference, per Patrick.

           

In a conference-wide vote, Iowa and Nebraska were the only Big Ten universities in favor of holding the season this fall, Patrick reported (h/t Brett McMurphy).

The decisions of Power Five conferences are complex in large part because the NCAA does not consider student-athletes employees. Whereas players in professional sports leagues could collectively bargain safety protocols as a union, major college football athletes have no such recourse.

Many professional sports leagues have also guaranteed union members the ability to opt out of the 2020 season without penalty, often with a stipend. NCAA teams could theoretically revoke the scholarship of a player who refuses to play under the current structure.

While several notable players, including Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, have spoken out on their desire to play, they have done so while requesting several provisions given to professional players. Using the hashtag #WeWantToPlay on Twitter on Sunday night, Power Five conference players requested mandated health and safety protocols, that players maintain their eligibility and scholarships if they opt out, and the ability to form a players association.

The SEC's attempt to save its season seemingly comes down to whether it can convince ACC or Big 12 member schools to form a one-season coalition. If that's the case, those schools will likely have to make concessions to guarantee the safety of the players, which may change the landscape of college football.

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