Members of the USC football team have sent a letter to California Gov. Gavin Newsom urging his assistance in helping the Pac-12 conference resume football activities this fall:
While the Pac-12 conference itself moved to postpone all college sports until January 2021, members of the Trojans program are asking Newsom to help "find a path forward for us to resume competitions later this fall so that we can have the same opportunity around the country to play for a national championship."
Newsom's office has yet to reply.
ESPN's Heather Dinich reported Monday the conference's "most aggressive" return-to-play plan would have teams back on the field in mid-to-late November:
"Schools in the states of California and Oregon still have not been cleared by public health officials to resume contact practices, let alone games. The league's presidents and chancellors wouldn't consider a vote to return until that status changes. Ideally, the Pac-12 would like its teams to have six weeks to practice and physically prepare for the season, the source said.
"To get to a mid-November start between now and when the [ability to conduct rapid tests begins], the Pac-12 would have to be cleared by public health experts, the source said. Late November could be more realistic considering the double crisis with the pandemic and wildfires that continue to singe the Pacific Northwest."
The letter to Newsom from USC players begins to address some of the hurdles that must be cleared in order to reach that point.
While touting the Pac-12's partnership with the Quidel Corporation to perform daily antigen testing for COVID-19, players pointed to restrictions in California barring practice in groups larger than 12, team gatherings and indoor facility usage as the next barriers to tackle.
That's where Newsom could potentially help provide relief.
Whether or not he'll provide any as the state continues to fight both the coronavirus pandemic and devastating wildfires remains to be seen.