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#WeAreUnited

Aug 2 2020
Photo by
Joe Murphy/Getty Images; Illustration by Rebecca Estrella/The Players' Tribune
Photo by
Joe Murphy/Getty Images; Illustration by Rebecca Estrella/The Players' Tribune

To ensure future generations of college athletes will be treated fairly, #WeAreUnited.

Because NCAA sports exploit college athletes physically, economically and academically, and also disproportionately harm Black college athletes, #WeAreUnited.

In rejecting the NCAA’s claim that #BlackLivesMatter while also systematically exploiting Black athletes nationwide, #WeAreUnited.

Because we are being asked to play college sports in a pandemic in a system without enforced health and safety standards, and without transparency about COVID cases on our teams, the risks to ourselves, our families, and our communities, #WeAreUnited.

Because we must have adequate COVID testing to help protect our health, #WeAreUnited.

Because we are prohibited from securing representation while being asked to sign documents that may serve as liability waivers, #WeAreUnited.

Because we should not be stuck with sports-related medical expenses, including COVID-19 related expenses, #WeAreUnited.

Because any player who does not feel comfortable playing this season should be free to opt out without losing their scholarship or any eligibility, #WeAreUnited.

Because immoral rules would punish us for receiving basic necessities or compensation for the use of our names, images and likenesses, while many of us and our families are suffering economically from the COVID-19 fallout, #WeAreUnited.

Because we should be included in equitably sharing the revenue our talents generate, especially in a pandemic, #WeAreUnited.

Because unjust rules prevent the 98% of college football and basketball players who won’t go pro from capitalizing economically on what would otherwise be the most valuable years of our lives, including many Black players from low-income homes, #WeAreUnited.

Because eliminating lavish salaries and facility expenditures to preserve all sports must be prioritized, #WeAreUnited.

Because the NCAA has failed us and we are prepared to ensure that our conference treats us fairly whether or not it continues its NCAA membership, #WeAreUnited.

In forming alliances with college athletes from other conferences to unite with us for change, #WeAreUnited.

#WeAreUnited in our commitment to secure fair treatment for college athletes. Due to COVID-19 and other serious concerns, we will opt-out of Pac-12 fall camp and game participation unless the following demands are guaranteed in writing by our conference to protect and benefit both scholarship athletes and walk-ons.


Pac-12 Football Unity Demands

To Protect and Benefit Both Scholarship and Walk-On Athletes

 

I. Health & Safety Protections

COVID-19 Protections

  1. Allow option not to play during the pandemic without losing athletics eligibility or spot on our team’s roster.
  2. Prohibit/void COVID-19 agreements that waive liability.

Mandatory Safety Standards, Including COVID-19 Measures

  1. Player-approved health and safety standards enforced by a third party selected by players to address COVID-19, as well as serious injury, abuse and death.

II. Protect All Sports

Preserve All Existing Sports by Eliminating Excessive Expenditures

  1. Larry Scott, administrators, and coaches to voluntarily and drastically reduce excessive pay.
  2. End performance/academic bonuses.
  3. End lavish facility expenditures and use some endowment funds to preserve all sports.*

*As an example, Stanford University should reinstate all sports discontinued by tapping into their $27.7 billion endowment.

III. End Racial Injustice in College Sports and Society

  1. Form a permanent civic-engagement task force made up of our leaders, experts of our choice, and university and conference administrators to address outstanding issues such as racial injustice in college sports and in society.
  2. In partnership with the Pac-12, 2% of conference revenue would be directed by players to support financial aid for low-income Black students, community initiatives, and development programs for college athletes on each campus.
  3. Form annual Pac-12 Black College Athlete Summit with guaranteed representation of at least three athletes of our choice from every school.

IV. Economic Freedom and Equity

Guaranteed Medical Expense Coverage

  1. Medical insurance selected by players for sports-related medical conditions, including COVID- 19 illness, to cover six years after college athletics eligibility ends.

Name, Image, and Likeness Rights & Representation

  1. The freedom to secure representation, receive basic necessities from any third party, and earn money for use of our name, image, and likeness rights.

Fair Market Pay, Rights, & Freedoms

  1. Distribute 50% of each sport’s total conference revenue evenly among athletes in their respective sports.
  2. Six-year athletic scholarships to foster undergraduate and graduate degree completion.
  3. Elimination of all policies and practices restricting or deterring our freedom of speech, our ability to fully participate in charitable work, and our freedom to participate in campus activities outside of mandatory athletics participation.
  4. Ability of players of all sports to transfer one time without punishment, and additionally in cases of abuse or serious negligence.
  5. Ability to complete eligibility after participating in a pro draft if player goes undrafted and foregoes professional participation within seven days of the draft.
  6. Due process rights