I have no idea whether or not the 2020 college football season is going to happen.
No one does at this point.
Rumors are running rampant right now that the B1G is on the verge of canceling its season, which could lead to the other Power-5 conferences eventually making the same decision.
To this point, everything so far is speculation.
One thing that isn’t speculation, however, is the players’ desire to play.
College football is nothing without the players, so it would make sense that programs and conferences should listen to them. After all, the players are the product.
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, a player who will likely be the No. 1 selection in the 2021 NFL Draft with or without a season, has been the leading voice so far among the college football players who want to play this season.
People are at just as much, if not more risk, if we don’t play. Players will all be sent home to their own communities where social distancing is highly unlikely and medical care and expenses will be placed on the families if they were to contract covid19 (1)
— Trevor Lawrence (@Trevorlawrencee) August 9, 2020
A countless amount of other college football players have also tweeted using the hashtag “we want to play”.
Players deserve a voice in this discussion. And I think the Tennessee Vols, a program that’s displayed a dedication to giving its players a voice this offseason (via their in-house podcast, The Slice), should step up and give their players a platform this week to voice how they feel.
I’m talking video interviews with various players on the roster. Jarrett Guarantano, Trey Smith, Henry To’o To’o, etc (Smith, especially, would be an interesting voice to hear, considering his past health issues with blood clots). Make it personal. Let the public know exactly how these players feel and why they feel the way they do. This is a complex situation and it’s hard to capture a player’s feelings simply in a tweet.
Now, I’m not suggesting that the players alone should be able to make the decision on whether or not the 2020 season is played. There’s obviously more folks than just the players involved — coaches, trainers, graduate assistants, administration, sports information department members, etc.
But at the very least, we deserve to hear directly from the players and make them a large part of the conversation.
Tennessee can help make that possible. They shouldn’t waste this opportunity.
Featured image via Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports