Happy Monday, friends and fans! Well, maybe not happy, but you get it.
On Sunday, Clemson Tigers QB Trevor Lawrence took to social media, kickstarting the hashtag #WeWantToPlay. As the day wore on, several other prominent college football players around the nation followed his lead, including Oklahoma Sooners presumed starting QB Spencer Rattler. In addition to voicing their desire to play football this fall, these student-athletes also presented a plan to essentially form a players association with representatives from each of the Power Five conferences.
A number of other OU players outside of Rattler also used their platforms to stand in solidarity with the growing movement. The Norman Transcript’s Joe Buettner compiled those names here.
Matt Brown — former SB Nation Associate Director of College Brands and current publisher of Extra Points — makes it clear that these players aren’t necessarily looking to unionize (nor can they at this time). Still, many of the goals they’ve put forth would more or less function similarly to a players association or a glorified union if granted, and that’s the kind of progress that would have seemed like a total fantasy not too long ago.
Maybe this is overly pedantic, but players aren't calling for unionization. Current labor law makes a national college football union basically impossible right now. A Player's Association/Trade Group could do some of those functions, but it wouldn't be exactly the same thing— Matt Brown (@MattBrownEP) August 10, 2020
No matter how this turns out, this is shaping up to be a monumental moment in the history of college football. Players have never had as much power as they do today, and if the past several months are any indication, these players are quickly learning how to harness that power to make some real change.
Now onto this week’s Monday edition of Hot Links! Super Conference talk is back, OU Football receives its championship rings, the Big Ten pulls the plug and more!
- The flagship sport in the state of Oklahoma is about to be sidelined for an entire year because the conference it competes in is playing the saddest game of ‘follow the leader’ ever. Needless to say, I’m straight up not having a good time.
Source: The Big 12 remains divided on playing this season. Uncertainty about long-term medical impact looms as an issue. Expect the Big Ten and Pac-12 decisions to impact the the Big 12's decision.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) August 10, 2020
- Also, there’s this. If the Big 12 is able to link up with another Power Five conference (if not multiple) for a postponement plan, it could mean not having to cancel the football season outright and starting either later this year or sometime during next spring. Honestly, it seems like the best case scenario at this point, but this thing is developing by the hour.
Big 12 seems to be leaning toward postponement, but the situation is "very fluid," according to a source. No other conference has reached out regarding a partnership, but the source anticipates that happening.— Matt Mosley (@mattmosley) August 10, 2020
- In related
crazycollege football news, the SEC is reportedly attempting to recruit teams from the Big 12 and ACC to form a ‘super conference’ of sorts in order to have a deep enough pool of programs for a makeshift CFB season. I mean, I’m all for it if that’s the only way I’ll be able to watch actual games this fall.
- Redshirt junior center Creed Humphrey chose to return to Oklahoma with one major goal in mind — to win a national championship. He’s expected to be one of the first interior linemen selected in the upcoming NFL Draft, but first he has some unfinished business to take care of with his Sooner brothers, writes OU Daily’s Chandler Engelbrecht.
- Check out Oklahoma’s 2019 Big 12 Championship ring fresh out of the oven and complete with a nod to the program’s active streak of five straight conference titles. Man, I can almost feel the icy chill emanating through my screen. Boomer!
- 2021 five-star QB commit Caleb Williams penned another blog entry for his ‘All on the Line’ series at SI All-American. This week, the highly touted prospect discussed the possible effects of cancelling football in 2020, and reflected on what may have already been the end of his prolific high school run.
- Former OU running backs Joe Mixon and Rodney Anderson appear to be in great shape during Cincinnati Bengals training camp.
Around the Sports World
- Breaking this morning, the Big Ten Conference has reportedly canceled its 2020 football season, which is likely just the first of several major dominoes to fall this week. After school presidents came to a 12-2 vote against playing games this year, it looks like this could be the beginning of the end for college football this fall. I do find it a little interesting that Iowa and Nebraska were the two schools that voted in favor of play. I say come on down to the Big 12 while you can. There’s plenty of room at our table.
Dan Patrick reports Big Ten had internal vote & by 12-2 margin, league members opted on not having a fall football season. Nebraska & Iowa were only schools that voted to play this fall, @dpshow said. Patrick said Big Ten & Pac-12 would cancel fall seasons Tuesday— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) August 10, 2020
- On Monday, the Old Dominion Monarchs (Conference USA) became just the second FBS program to announce the cancellation of all fall sports in 2020 due to coronavirus concerns, following in the steps of the UConn Huskies.
- Just days after the Philadelphia 76ers lost Ben Simmons for the remainder of the NBA season, star big man Joel Embiid suffered an ankle injury on Sunday in the first quarter against the Portland Trailblazers and did not return to the game. As of Monday morning, his availability going forward is uncertain.
- Speaking of Philly, the Philadelphia Eagles placed 26-year-old LB Jatavis Brown on the reserve/retired list, and the former Charger has reportedly elected to walk away from the game entirely. It’s currently unknown if his decision has anything to do with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
- Oakland Athletics OF Ramon Laureano took exception to being hit by a pitch from Houston Astros rookie Humberto Castellanos on Sunday, resulting in a dugout-storming, benches-clearing scuffle. It appears no major hits were landed, but it was pretty entertaining to watch all the same.
Laureano wasn't happy with the Astros after he got hit by a pitch pic.twitter.com/ysiXICstKb— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) August 9, 2020
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