We’re talking about student athletes in programs at mega colleges and universities….
We’re also talking about hundreds of millions of dollars….
Donald Trump is talking about his own ego and politics….
Lest Trump’s message be lost, he tweeted again 51 minutes later: “Play College Football!”
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany echoed that message. “These college athletes work their whole lives for this moment,” she told reporters, “and he would like to see them have a chance to live out their dreams.”
Trump is widely popular in many states where college football is a cultural touchstone, including the Deep South and parts of the Midwest, and he has called for the on-time and in-person reopening of schools throughout the pandemic. The president on Monday joined other congressmen in supporting players’ calls to play on, though they did not initially address the players’ other message, in support of forming a union.
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) sent a letter to Big Ten Conference officials urging them not to call off the season. “Life is about trade-offs,” he wrote in the letter (via Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger). “There are no guarantees that college football will be completely safe — that’s absolutely true. It’s always true. But the structure and discipline of football programs is very likely safer than what the lived experience of 18-to-22-year-olds will be if there isn’t a season.”
Representatives of the Power Five conferences will determine the fate of the season, with some of the sport’s biggest stars insisting football can be played safely…