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Parents of Big Ten Players Call for Fall Football

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A group of Ohio State football players’ parents on Saturday joined parents of players at Iowa in calling for the Big Ten to overturn its decision not to play this fall because of the pandemic.

The Football Parents at Ohio State posted on social media a letter to Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren, calling for the reinstatement of the 10-game schedule the conference unveiled six days before it canceled its fall football season.

“We believe that the protocols put in place by Ohio State Athletics has provided an extremely safe environment for our players to prepare for the season,” the letter said.

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The letter also asked for the release of all medical data and information the Big Ten used to make its decision, a meeting with Warren for senior players and their parents, and to permit athletes who want to play to sign a COVID-19 liability waiver.

“Football is a game of risk. Our sons work extremely hard for the opportunity to play and fully understand the risks involved when they step on the field.

“Their personal decisions should be acknowledged and honored to give them the opportunity to compete as athletes in the game they love,” the parents wrote.

The parents of Iowa players sent a similar letter on Friday.

Do you believe the Big Ten should have canceled its football season?

“The fact that the Big Ten and the Council of Presidents and Chancellors made this decision with no input from those assuming these risks is appalling,” the letter said.

The Big Ten has received the two letters.

Tom Mars, an attorney who has helped players such as Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields with NCAA transfer eligibility waiver claims, has been advising some of the parents of Big Ten players fighting for their sons’ seasons.

Mars provided a two-page document titled “Action Plan to Mitigate Concerns and Legal Risks of Playing Fall 2020 Football” to the parents, which includes “stakeholders” — players, parents, conference commissioners, university presidents, athletic directors and coaches — petitioning the NCAA Board of Governors to rescind a COVID-19 waiver ban.

The NCAA two weeks ago announced that it would not permit its schools to require athletes to sign away legal rights related to the virus before competing this season.

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Players’ rights movements, such as We Are United in the Pac-12 and Big Ten United have called for athletic conferences to prohibit such waivers.

Earlier this week, a group of senators led by New Jersey Democrat Cory Booker announced the framework of possible federal legislation of college sports.

Part of the College Athletes Bill of Rights would prohibit schools requiring athletes to give up legal rights.

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