(CBS SF) – The Pac-12 Conference is reportedly set to cancel the upcoming 2020 football season due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has called for games to proceed.
Citing a source, national sports radio host Dan Patrick reported on his show Monday that the Pac-12, along with the Big Ten Conference will be canceling their seasons. Other major football conferences, such as the ACC, Big-12 and the SEC have yet to make a decision.
Sources have also confirmed to the Detroit Free Press that the Big Ten is canceling their season. The Free Press said the universities' presidents voted 12-2 to cancel the decision, citing anonymous sources. A formal announcement was expected on Tuesday, according to the report.
Meanwhile, the Pac-12 conference has not confirmed Patrick's report. Pac-12 school presidents are set to meet on Tuesday.
Patrick's report comes as the commissioners of the Power Five conferences, which includes the Pac-12, reportedly held a meeting over the weekend about the viability of a college football season. No decisions were made at that meeting, CBS Sports reported, but commissioners were set to meet again on Monday.
The possibility of college football being canceled for the year did not go unnoticed at the White House."Play College Football!" Trump simply stated in a tweet Monday morning.
In another tweet, the President said, "The student-athletes have been working too hard for their season to be cancelled," adding the hashtag #WeWantToPlay.
On Friday, a group of Pac-12 players belonging to the "WeAreUnited" movement of college student-athletes said they were "disappointed and deeply concerned" after a recent meeting with Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott, accusing him in a letter of not taking the issues they have raised seriously enough. The group has been pushing the conference to address their concerns about COVID-19 protocols, racial injustice in college sports and economic rights for college athletes. Players have threatened to opt-out of practices and games if their demands aren't addressed.
Late last month, the conference, which includes UC Berkeley and Stanford, planned on a conference-only football schedule that would begin in late September.
If the Pac-12 cancellation becomes official, it would be the first time since World War II that the annual Big Game between Stanford and Cal would not be played. This year's contest was set to be played at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley.
As of Monday morning, the Mid-American Conference, along with the programs at the University of Connecticut and Old Dominion University have canceled their football seasons due to coronavirus concerns.
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