In a letter shared via Twitter, USC football players have asked California Gov. Gavin Newsom to ease health and safety protocols so that they can resume practicing and, ideally, have a fall football season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
@gavinnewsom We have sat by for two weeks watching teams across the country play the game we love safely. Most schools have a fraction of the resources that our school and conference have provided to play safely. You are the only thing holding us back. Please #LetUsPlay . pic.twitter.com/au4JZ5PNbz— Kedon Slovis (@Kedonslovis) September 15, 2020
Currently, football programs in California and Oregon cannot begin contact practices because of state guidelines. ESPN reported on Monday that the Pac-12 could request that teams hold standard practices for up to six weeks before starting a season.
While the Big Ten and Pac-12 both postponed football and other fall sports on Aug. 11 because of the health crisis, rumors continue to suggest the conferences could soon reverse those decisions. ESPN's Monday report claimed the Pac-12 won't start games before mid-to-late November.
Earlier this month, the conference announced that it had partnered with Quidel Corp. for daily coronavirus testing that provides rapid results. It's believed such testing could allow for a Pac-12 football season if teams in California and Oregon are cleared to practice.
Accounting for the six-week window, each day programs in those states cannot gather in large groups pushes the start of a potential fall campaign back further and decreases the league's chances of having at least one team compete for a national title.