Just three days after Pac-12 student-athletes released a list of safety demands to their conference, the Big Ten players released their own unity proposal.
In association with College Athlete Unity— a member organization that advocates for student-athletes’ rights to speak out— Big Ten football players released a series of demands regarding player safety to both the conference and the NCAA Wednesday morning. The unity proposal calls for a more comprehensive plan for the season as well as increased transparency, player assurances and scholarship protections.
“We are deeply disappointed with the lack of leadership demonstrated by the NCAA with respect to player safety during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the proposal states. “We believe that the NCAA must — on its own and through collaboration with the conference — devise a comprehensive plan to ensure the safety and well-being of players leading up to and during the upcoming fall season.”
The proposal also called for a third-party to administer all COVID-19 tests and enforce all coronavirus related health and safety standards.
In terms of testing, the proposal calls for at least two weekly tests as well as testing within 24 hours of each competition. It also calls for contact-tracing protocols and that everyone who comes in contact with the athletes to be tested beforehand.
As for player assurances, the proposal calls for a ban on all COVID-19 liability waivers, such as the “Buckeye Pledge.” The players also called for an automatic medical redshirt for players who miss games due to the virus and preservation of their academic eligibility and scholarships if they decide to opt out of the season or if the season is canceled.