The Pac-12 players haven’t been quiet about their thoughts and feelings since dropping their letter to commissioner Larry Scott last week. They haven’t gone away. They’re not going to stop asking for protections to play the 2020 season during a global pandemic.
They will, however, tell you exactly what they’re going through and exactly how they’re feeling afterwards.
Despite asking to speak with Scott and their athletic directors as early as Monday of last week, the Player Representative Team of Dallas Hobbs, Cody Shear, Jaydon Grant, Valentino Daltoso, Chase Williams, Elijah Higgins, Jevon Holland, Joe Tryon, Malik Hausman, Nick Ford and Otito Ogbonnia apparently were unable to get to talk to Scott until late this past week.
And they left that meeting disappointed.
Despite pushing for two major issues (more-frequent coronavirus testing and protections of eligibility for those forgoing the season for health reasons), the players said they reached very little progress in their meeting with Scott.
They said that Scott was condescending and dismissive of them during their call and even went as far as to say their #WeAreUnited mission was a ‘misguide P.R. stunt,’ according to a report from the New York Times.
They met last Thursday night and yet it took a few days for the reports and news to come from the meeting.
Oregon State Beavers CB Jaydon Grant reacted on Twitter as well, writing a letter of continued solidarity.
The full statement is below but highlights from Grant’s letter are rather appalling.
“Your response to our concerns ‘if you feel unsafe, just opt out and go home,’ is not an acceptable answer and proves there are severe inconsistencies in the Pac-12’s standards and its commitment to protecting college athletes under its watch.”
Grant’s letter also provided insight that Scott knew very little, or chose not to acknowledge that he knew that Pac-12 schools were issuing and utilizing COVID-19 liability waivers.
“Further, as noted above, contrary to your statement that ‘no Pac-12 institutions have issued COVID-19 liability waivers,’ we are aware that many college athletes at multiple Pac-12 schools were required to sign documents that serve as COVID-19 liability waivers.”
UCLA’s Otito Ogbonnia told the New York Times that Scott was dismissive of the players on their call and rather boasted about Pac-12 policies, something that seemed rather apparent in his original statement back to the players that felt like a copied and pasted repsonse.
“He boasted how progressive the conference has been in giving the players a voice, but the way he treated us didn’t reflect that,” Ogbonnia said. “I don’t think he thought of us as people who were making a legitimate case.”
Scott was joined by athletic directors from Utah (Mark Harlan) and Arizona State (Ray Anderson) as well as Chris Merino, the Pac-12’s assistant commissioner of compliance.
The players totaled 18 on the Zoom call. Outspoken Cal offensive lineman Valentino Daltoso added that the meeting seemed counter-productive and is wary of whether or not another meeting will happen at all.
“It was not very productive. We did not come away with many answers. He made it very clear that he does not want to meet again,” Daltoso told the NY Times.
Comin this week: More on this developing story that seemingly contradicts the way the Pac-12-favorable media portrayed it to the national media this past week.