One day after the Mountain West Conference announced Wednesday its plan for fall sports 2020 with football going to a ten-game schedule starting in late September, players from MWC football teams including the University of Hawai’i took to social media making demands to assure their safety and long-term future.
This is the message shared by many players from Mountain West Conference teams on Thursday:
As the foundation of the entertainment and competition provided by the sport of Gridiron Football, we, the athletes, do not feel safe enough participating in this upcoming season without reform. There is too much ambiguity surrounding the state of affairs in this country to demand competition as we know it. These last four months have altered the lives of not just Americans, but the human race. We have families and children just like any fan, coach, citizen, or worker. The virus is real and rampant in this country.
Although the coaching staffs of the Mountain West haven taken commendable steps to revolutionize the way we train and grow, we do not feel comfortable playing teams from other states. It is difficult to believe that hundreds of 17 to 22-year-old college students are capable of social-distancing effectively enough to travel state-to-state for 10 weeks. This is evident in the reports released by several schools that have had an increase in cases of COVID-19 following return to OTA-style workouts. For these reason, we have established conditions to be agreed upon amongst the conference, coaches, and athletes in order to ensure our health, safety, and well being:
Testing, Prevention, and safety
- Athletes will receive COVID-19 tests every week and at least 72 hours before each match as instructed by the NCAA
- Staff members, including coaches, trainers, and anyone in contact with athletes, will receiver COVID-19 tests every week
- Football facilities will follow strict cleaning protocols with adherence to CDC guidelines
- Contact-tracing protocols with adherence to CDC guidelines
- Proper accommodations and safety standards for alternative outdoor facilities put in place to adhere with social-distancing guidelines Eligibility and Scholarship
- Athletes who choose to opt-out of season due to COVID-19 concerns will receive hardship waiver to grant them an additional year of eligibility, regardless of athlete’s timeline on five-year clock
- Athletes who contract COVID-19 during season, and miss more than 30% of competition, will receiver a hardship waiver to grant them an additional year of eligibility, regardless of athlete’s timeline on five-year clock
- In event of cancellation of over 50% of scheduled season, all athletes will receive a hardship waiver to grant them an additional year of eligibility, regardless of athlete’s timeline on five-year clock
- Preserve scholarship (including tuition and fees, room and board, and cost-of-attendance stipend) and roster spot for an athlete who is granted hardship waiver due to COVID-19 Player Assurances
- Ban and void all COVID-19 liability waivers
- Ensure coverage of all out-of-pocket medical expenses related to COVID-19 incurred by athletes for fives years after exhaustion of eligibility
- Whistleblower protection for athletes and staff who report suspected violations to COVID-19 safety protocols
As stated before, COVID-19 had dynamically changed the world. This is includes us. We are more than athletes, we are United.
Mountain West United