“Student-athletes have worked very hard to cancel their season,” the President tweeted Monday, adding the hashtag #WeWantToPlay.
Trump’s calls for a resumption of college football come amid a growing push by his administration to get academic institutions – in both primary and higher education – to reopen in the fall. They also come amid reports that two of the “Power Five” conferences – Big Ten and Pac-12 – are expected to cancel their 2020 football season games, according to reports from many sports news media.
Conference leaders Power Five college sports discussed the football season and other fall sports over the weekend. Although the academic year is approaching, no decision has been made yet. Discussions are expected to continue in the coming days.
In his tweets, Trump shared a message from Clemson University football defender Trevor Lawrence, a star athlete among a group of college footballers pushing for games this fall.
In his message, Lawrence called for conferences to allow student-athletes to play football this season, establish universal health and safety protocols, and allow players to leave the season, among other measures.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany confirmed Monday afternoon that Trump would like to see college football “resume for sure.”
“Many of these college athletes work their whole lives to get four years; sometimes they are redirected an extra year if they are lucky. They work their whole lives right now, and he would love to see them. they had a chance to live their dreams, “she added.
In June in Clemson, Lawrence School, 28 student-athletes and staff, including 23 footballers, tested positive for the coronavirus. And across the country, there is a growing list of college athletes who have tested positive for the virus.
Research shows that 1 in 3 adults (aged 18-25) are at serious risk of Covid-19, with smoking playing a large part in their risk level.
And although earlier in the blast health experts noted that the elderly were more affected by the coronavirus, the percentage of cases in adolescence and young adults has increased sixfold, according to the World Health Organization.
Dr Amesh Adalja, a member of the NCAA COVID-19 Advisory Panel, told CNN Brooke Baldwin on Monday afternoon that college football teams face challenges different from the challenges professional leagues face.
Unlike the NHL and NBA, Adalja said, student athletes are not usually isolated from their school-age peers and compete in a “bubble” coordinated by the outside world.
“The bubble seems to work, but you can’t do that with students, and I think people forget it,” he said. “It is not necessarily that they are infected in the field, but they will bring what they have contracted to the community in the field.”
Last week, the University of Connecticut canceled its 2020 football season amid growing concerns about Covid-19. Last month, Connecticut formally withdrew from the American Athletics Conference and the Huskies were appointed to compete as independents in 2020 in the Bowl Football Division.
The National Association of Junior College Athletics announced in July that the upcoming fall sports, including football, would move into the spring semester.
CNN’s Kevin Dotson and Hollie Silverman contributed to this report.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect UConn’s connection to the Bowl Football Division.