Purdue announces its class of 23

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(Below is Purdue’s press release from National Signing Day)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue football coach Danny Hope today announced the signing of 23 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to play for the Boilermakers. The group joins a pair of early enrollees as a 25-member recruiting class, Hope’s fourth at Purdue.

Junior college defensive end Greg Latta, who signed with Purdue in December, and tight end Carlos Carvajal, who signed with Purdue last May, are already enrolled in school and will participate in team activities throughout the spring.

The incoming class of 2012 features a number of athletic prospects at a number of different positions that excelled in high school on both sides of the ball, as well as special teams.

The recruits hail from 13 different states: six from Florida; four from Indiana and Texas; two from Michigan; and one each from Alabama, Arkansas, California, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia.


2012 Purdue Football Recruits

Name                                    Pos         Ht           Wt          Hometown/High School

Danny Anthrop                                 ATH        6-1          180         Lafayette, Ind./Central Catholic

Austin Appleby                 QB          6-5          228         North Canton, Ohio/Hoover                      

Anthony Brown                                S              5-11       185         Tampa, Fla./Hillsborough Senior

Cameron Cermin              OL           6-5          290         College Station, Texas/A&M Consolidated

Jonathan Curry                 TE           6-3          235         Phenix, Ala./Central

Andy Garcia                        LB           5-11       220         Hialeah, Fla./ Hialeah

Aloyis Gray                         QB          6-3          175         Indianapolis, Ind./Pike

Paul Griggs                          K             6-0          190         Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Latin

Jimmy Herman                  LB           6-4          220         Carmel, Ind./Carmel

Kingsley Ike                        DE           6-4          220         Pflugerville, Texas/Hendrickson

Jason King                           OL           6-4          310         Little Rock, Ark./Pulaski Academy

BJ Knauf                               WR         5-11       185         Lakeland, Fla./Santa Fe Catholic

Bilal Marshall                      QB          6-3          175         Miami, Fla./Dade Christian

Thomas Meadows           K             6-0          180         Goochland, Va./Goochland

Ryan Morris                        TE           6-6          248         Barnegat, N.J./Barnegat

Cameron Posey                                WR         6-2          180         Delray Beach, Fla./American Heritage

JJ Prince                               OL           6-6          268         Southlake, Texas/Southlake Carroll

Jordan Roos                       OL           6-5          310         Celina, Texas/Celina

Jordan Shine                      S              6-0          180         Indianapolis, Ind./Warren Central

Devin Smith                        OL           6-7          325         Ypsilanti, Mich. /Arizona Central

Joey Warburg                    OL           6-5          255         Louisville, Ky./Trinity

Ryan Watson                     DE           6-3          275         Olney, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel

Jordan Woods                   WR         6-2          175         Ann Arbor, Mich./Skyline


2012 Purdue Football Recruits – Mid-Year

Name                                    Pos         Ht           Wt          Hometown/Last School

Carlos Carvajal                   TE           6-7          240         Hialeah, Fla./Milford Academy

Greg Latta                           DE           6-6          265         La Quinta, Calif./College of the Desert


Danny Anthrop


6-1 // 180

Lafayette, Ind. // Central Catholic

Rated as a three-star recruit by Rivals.com … team won back-to-back state titles in 2010 and 2011 … Rushed for 1,757 yards as a senior, averaging 12.6 yards per carry with 32 touchdowns … also caught 44 passes for 834 yards (19.0 ypc) and 13 scores in 2011 … rushed for a season-high 255 yards with three touchdowns on 23 carries in Central Catholic’s 38-7 win over Scecina in the IHSAA Class 1A state championship game … rushed for 230 yards and five touchdowns on merely 10 carries in a game against Heritage Christian … caught six passes for a season-high 195 yards and three touchdowns against Twin Lakes … also had 54 tackles, two interceptions a fumble forced and a fumble recovered as a safety … as a junior, had 60 receptions for 994 yards and 14 touchdowns … averaged 11.7 yards per carry as a junior, rushing for 787 on merely 67 carries for 12 scores … returned four punts and three kickoff returns for touchdowns in 2010 … had 70 tackles and three interceptions, including one he returned for a score as a junior at safety … qualified for the state track meet as a junior in the 100-meters, running a 10.6 … recorded the fastest 40-yard dash time at Purdue’s summer camp … brother, Dru, plays basketball at Purdue … already admitted to Purdue … high school coach was Kevin O’Shea.


Austin Appleby


6-5 // 228

North Canton, Ohio // Hoover

Rated as a three-star recruit by Rivals.com and Scout.com … listed among the top “pro style” quarterback prospects nationally by Tom Lemming … recognized as one of the “Elite 11” quarterbacks in the nation during the 2011 summer camp … according to 247sports.com finished his senior year 105 of 237 passing for 1,417 yards and eight touchdowns … completed 94 of 186 passing attempts for 1,427 and 14 touchdowns in seven games as a junior before injuring his knee … high school coach was Don Hertler … Purdue offensive coordinator Gary Nord coached his father at Louisville.


Anthony Brown

Defensive Back

5-11 // 185

Tampa, Fla. // Hillsborough Senior

2011 second team All-Hillsborough County … selected to the FACA District 15 All-Star Game … recorded 25 tackles, including 15 solo stops, with a pair of interceptions and three passes defended as a senior … also gained 911 yards on 139 carries with 14 touchdowns and finished with 18 receptions for 239 yards and a score in 2011 … averaged 24.1 yards per kickoff return, with a long of 86 yards as a senior … finished with 69 total tackles, including 62 solo stops, with an interception and a PBU as a junior … also caught four passes for 52 yards in 2010 high school coach was Earl Garcia … has run a 10.58 in the 100-meters and 21.60 in the 200 … among the primary schools recruiting him were Indiana, Iowa State, USF and UCF.


Carlos Carvajal

Tight End

6-7 // 240

Hialeah, Fla. // Milford Academy

Four-star prospect by Rivals.com … originally signed with Purdue last May, but spent the 2011 season at Milford Academy in New York … named Milford’s offensive player of the game in a 38-21 win against Wagner on Sept. 11, after grabbing four catches for 47 yards with a two-point conversion … caught two passes for 46 yards against Army Prep … also had three tackles for loss on the season, including a pair against Atlanta Sport Prep … ranked as the No. 28 tight end recruit in the nation by ESPN.com and a three-star prospect by both Rivals.com and Scout.com following the 2010 season at Hialeah High School … high school coach was Marc Berman … among the primary schools recruiting him were Miami and Alabama.


Cameron Cermin

Offensive Line

6-6 // 305

College Station, Texas // A&M Consolidated

Three-star prospect by Rivals.com … blocked for an offense that averaged 354.2 yards per game, including 208.5 yards on the ground with 28 rushing touchdowns, in 2011 … anchored an offensive line as a junior that helped Consolidated average 400 yards rushing per game, including five contests with 450 more yards on the ground, and score 59 rushing touchdowns in 2010 … high school coach was David Raffield … among the primary schools recruiting him were Texas Tech, SMU and Rice.


Jonathan Curry

Tight End

6-3 // 235

Phenix, Ala. // Central

Three-star prospect by Rivals.com and Scout.com … rated as one of the top tight end talents nationally by recruiting analyst Tom Lemming … had 23 catches for 249 yards and one touchdown as a senior … 2011 Alabama/Mississippi All-Star Game participant … 2011 honorable mention all-state by the Alabama Sports Writers Association … national finalist for the Franklin D. Watkins Memorial Award, presented each year to the nation’s top African-American male high school scholar athlete … National Honor Society, National Beta Club, National Society of High School Scholars, Who’s Who Among, All-American Scholars, National Youth Leadership Council, National Junior Beta Club, Alabama-Mississippi All State, Special Olympics Volunteer and Top 16 ESPN Tight End while maintaining a 3.96 grade-point average … finished with 14 catches for 200 yards with one touchdown as a junior … high school coach was Woodrow Lowe.


Andy Garcia


5-11 // 220

Hialeah, Fla. // Hialeah

First team All-Dade County his senior season .. Played in the Florida High School All-Star game … finished with 111 tackles, 12 sacks, 20 tackles for losses, seven forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in 2010 … third team All-Dade County as a junior … high school coach was Marc Berman … among the primary schools recruiting him were N.C. State and Georgia Tech.


Aloyis Gray


6-3 // 175

Indianapolis, Ind. // Pike

Three-star recruit and rated as the No. 24 dual-threat quarterback in the nation by Rivals.com … ranked as the No. 7 player in the state by ihigh.com … also rated by analyst Tom Lemming as one of the top wide receiver prospects in the country … high school coach was Derek Moyers … among the primary schools recruiting him were Indiana, Northwestern and Cincinnati.


Paul Griggs


6-0 // 190

Charlotte, N.C. // Charlotte Latin

Ranked as the No. 3 kicker in the nation and a three-star prospect by Scout.com … three-star prospect and No. 5 kicker in the nation by Rivals.com … 2012 U.S. Army All-American Bowl participant … Hit a 57-yard field goal in the first game of his senior year … 2011 Associated Press All-State North Carolina, All-Observer Football First Team, All-Mecklenburg Football First Team Kicker, All-South Charlotte News Team, Selected as 2012 Felix “Doc” Blanchard Award Nominee, selected for 2012 USA Football U-19 National Team, Oasis All-Star Shrine Classic Game NCISAA Football Division I All-State, 2011 CISAA All-Conference, top five finalist WSOC-TV Big 22 High School Football Players, finalist Kicker of the Year Greater Charlotte Football Awards … 2010 NCISAA All-State first team, CISAA All-Conference and AP All-State for North Carolina as a junior … was 8 for 11 with a long of 48 yards in 2010 … high school coach was Larry McNulty … among the primary schools recruiting him were Duke, Rutgers, South Carolina and North Carolina.


Jimmy Herman


6-4 // 220

Carmel, Ind. // Carmel

Three-star prospect by Rivals.com and Scout.com … rated by analyst Tom Lemming as one of the top outside linebacker prospects in the nation … team won the 5A Indiana State Championship his senior season … 2001 Associated Press Class 5A All-State … also runs the hurdles and throws the discus  for Carmel High School … state qualifier in track … high school coach was Kevin Wright … both of his parents are Purdue graduates … plans to major in bio-med engineering … has a 4.0 grade-point average in high school … already admitted to Purdue … among the primary schools recruiting him were Northwestern and Harvard.


Kingsley Ike

Defensive End

6-4 // 220

Pflugerville, Texas // Hendrickson

Three-star prospect by Rivals.com and Scout.com … second team All-District 16-4A as a senior … had 61 tackles and six sacks in 2010 … third team All-Central Texas and first team All-District 16-4A as a junior … high school coach was Chip Killian … among the primary schools recruiting him were Rice and Iowa State … scored an 1110 on his SAT.


Jason King

Offensive Line

6-4 // 310

Little Rock, Ark. // Pulaski Academy

As a senior, blocked for an offense that averaged 395.9 yards passing, 142.5 yards rushing and 538.4 yards of total offense per game … Pulaski Academy averaged 51.5 points per game in 2011 and went 14-0 en route to winning the Arkansas Boys State Football Playoff 4A championship … team won the state title with a 63-28 win over Malvern in the championship game … Pulaski scored no fewer than 38 points in any game in 2011 … as a junior, Pulaski averaged 368.4 yards passing, 161.0 yards rushing, 529.4 yards of total offense and 45.6 points per game … high school coach was Kevin Kelley.


BJ Knauf

Wide Receiver

5-11 // 185

Lakeland, Fla. // Santa Fe Catholic

Three-star prospect by Rivals.com … played quarterback in high school … rushed for 1,769 yards, threw for 861 yards and scored 33 total touchdowns as a senior … averaged 11.1 yards per carry as a senior and finished with 27 rushing touchdowns … also recorded 90 tackles as a defensive back … 2011 Associated Press All-State Class 2A football team … PolkPrep.com’s Small School Co-Offensive Player of The Year in 2011 … ran the faster 40 time at the Miami summer camp … rushed for 1,500 yards and 18 touchdowns as a junior … has run a 10.7 100-meter dash and 21.54 in the 2000 … high school coach was William Dickerson … among the primary schools recruiting him were Indiana, UCF, Navy, USF and Vanderbilt.


Greg Latta

Defensive End

6-6 // 265

La Quinta, Calif. // College of the Desert

An accomplished basketball player, only took up football in junior college … played tight end as a freshman at the College of the Desert before moving over to the defensive side of the ball as a sophomore … had nine tackles, including 1.5 for loss, in seven games played as a sophomore at COD … junior college coach was Dean Dowty.


Bilal Marshall


6-3 // 175

Miami, Fla. // Dade Christian

Three-star prospect and rated as the No. 18 dual-threat quarterback in the nation by Rivals.com … three-star recruit by Scout.com … rated as the No. 20 combo passer in the nation by analyst Tom Lemming … completed 64 percent of his passes with 17 touchdowns and five interceptions as a senior, and totaled 1,296 passing yards … averaged 8.5 yards per carry, gaining 675 yards on 79 carries with eight rushing touchdowns in 2011 … as a junior, threw for 1,358 yards and ran for 971 in 2010. Threw for 15 scores and ran for seven … holds Dade Christian record in the 400-meters and ran a 22.1 in the 200 as a junior … high school coach was Mike Sonneborn … other primary school recruiting him was Kansas.


Thomas Meadows


6-0 // 180

Goochland, Va. // Goochland

Rated by Scout.com as the No. 18 kicking prospect in the nation … 2012 Ray Guy Prokicker.com High School All-American … averaged 41.2 yards per punt as a senior with a long of 53 … Placed 13 of his 26 punts inside the opposition’s 20-yard line and allowed only 14 punt return yards all season in 2011 … had 28 of his 40 kickoffs (70 percent) fall into the end zone for touchbacks … first team all-district, first team all-region and All-Metro as a senior … participated in the Chesapeake Bowl where he punted five times for a 46-yard average … high school coach was Joe Fowler … among the primary schools recruiting him were Virginia, Virginia Tech and Richmond.


Ryan Morris

Tight End

6-6 // 248

Barnegat, N.J. // Barnegat

Three-star prospect by Rivals.com and Scout.com … ranked as the No. 20 tight end nationally by analyst Tom Lemming … Asbury Park Press 2011 All-Shore team … 2011 third team All-Group 2 … New Jersey Football Coaches Association Super 100 … caught 21 passes for 358 yards, an average of 17.1 yards per reception, and two touchdowns as a senior … also had 37 tackles, including 1.5 sacks, defensively as a senior … averaged 16.5 yards per reception as a junior, hauling in 30 passes for 494 yards and four touchdowns … also had 31 tackles and two sacks as a defensive end his junior year … high school coach was Rob Davis.


Cameron Posey

Wide Receiver

6-2 // 180

Delray Beach, Fla. // American Heritage

Three-star prospect by Rivals.com … rated by analyst Tom Lemming among the top wide receivers in the nation … team won the state title his senior season … only played in the final three games in 2011 after injuring his wrist … as a junior, caught 16 passes for 266 yards and six touchdowns … high school coach was Doug Socha … among the primary schools recruiting him were Boston College, Virginia and Wake Forest.


JJ Prince

Offensive Line

6-6 // 268

Southlake, Texas // Southlake Carroll

Three-star prospect by Rivals.com … as a senior, blocked for a team that averaged 217.4 yards passing, 169.8 yards rushing and 387.2 total yards per game in the regular season … Carroll averaged 34.3 points per game and defeated its opponents by an average of 15.5 points per game during the regular season … all-state his senior year team went 16-0 and won the 2011 Texas Class 5A state championship … academic all-state … high school coach was Hal Wasson … among the primary schools recruiting him were Oregon State and Houston … scored 1480 on his SAT.


Jordan Roos

Offensive Line

6-5 // 310

Celina, Texas // Celina

Three-star prospect by Rivals.com and Scout.com … listed among the top offensive lineman in the nation by analyst Tom Lemming … missed the majority of his senior season after injuring his knee … team went 11-1 his junior season, winning the league title with a 4-0 record … two-time 3A shot put state champion … can bench press 435 pounds … high school coach was Butch Ford … among the primary schools recruiting him were Colorado and Baylor.


Jordan Shine


6-0 // 18

Indianapolis, Ind. // Warren Central

Three-star prospect by Rivals.com and Scout.com … finished his senior year with 87 tackles, including 47 solo stops, along with five interceptions and five passes broken up … had a season-high 16 tackles against eventual state champion Carmel … recorded 14 tackles against Ben Davis … team went 11-1 in 2011 … had 35 tackles, an interception and six PBUs as a junior … team won the state championship his junior year …  high school coach was John Hart … was the first player in the 2012 class to commit to Purdue … 14 players from his high school will sign NLIs on Feb. 1.


Devin Smith

Offensive Line

6-7 // 325

Ypsilanti, Mich. // Arizona Central

Three-star prospect by Rivals.com and Scout.com … blocked for a team that averaged 237.7 yards rushing 210.7 yards passing and 448.4 yards of total offense per game in 2011 … team went 11-1, losing to East Mississippi Community College in the 2011 NJCAA Football Championship Game … Arizona Western finished the 2011 season ranked third in the nation in the final poll … junior college coach was Tom Minnick … earned a 3.4 grade-point average las fall … has three years of eligibility left.


Joey Warburg

Offensive Line

6-5 // 255

Louisville, Ky. // Trinity

Three-star prospect by Rivals.com … blocked for an offense that averaged 215.2 yards rushing, 228.5 yards passing and 443.7 totals yards of offense per game his senior season … teams finished with 34 passing touchdowns and 41 rushing scores in 2011 … team won back-to-back Kentucky Boys State Class 6A Football titles his junior and senior seasons … high school coach was Bob Beatty … played for the same high school as current Purdue long snapper Jesse Schmitt.


Ryan Watson

Defensive End

6-3 // 275

Olney, Md. // Our Lady of Good Counsel

Four-star prospect by Rivals.com and Scout.com … rated as the No. 18 recruit at his position in the nation by Rivals.com … ranked among the top defensive ends in the nation by analyst Tom Lemming … totaled 22 tackles, two tackles for a loss, a forced fumble and two pass breakups as a senior … team won three consecutive league titles and finished the 2011 season ranked in the top 6 in the final national rankings by Sports Illustrated (No. 4), PrepNation (No. 4), Fox Sports/Scout.com (No. 4), CBS Sports/MaxPreps (No. 5), ESPN (No. 5), Rivals.com (No. 6) and USA Today (No. 6) … 2011 team captain … high school coach was Bob Milloy … among the primary schools recruiting him were South Carolina, Rutgers and Syracuse.


Jordan Woods

Wide Receiver

6-2 // 175

Ann Arbor, Mich. // Skyline

Three-star prospect by Rivals.com and Scout.com … 2011 All-Southeast Conference … 2011 All-Washtenaw County … as a senior, had 45 receptions for 1,163 yards and 16 touchdowns despite losing his starting quarterback in Week 7 … also returned two interceptions for touchdowns, had a kick return for a score, scored a rushing touchdown and threw two touchdowns … team offensive MVP as a senior … caught 65 passes for 1,103 yards and 11 touchdowns as a junior … finished with 15 receptions for 279 yards and two touchdowns in a game against Bedford in 2010 … caught 10 passes for 218 yards and pair of scores against Heartland his junior season … high school coach was Rodrek Jones.

Big Ten pulls plug on fall football amid COVID-19 concerns

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The Big Ten won’t play football this fall because of concerns about COVID-19, becoming the first of college sports’ power conferences to yield to the pandemic.

The move announced Tuesday comes six day after the conference that includes historic programs such as Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska and Penn State had released a revised conference-only schedule that it hoped would help it navigate a fall season with potential COVID-19 disruptions.

But it was not a surprise. Speculation has run rampant for several days that the Big Ten was moving toward this decision. On Monday, coaches throughout the conference tried to push back the tide, publicly pleading for more time and threatening to look elsewhere for games this fall.

“The mental and physical health and welfare of our student-athletes has been at the center of every decision we have made regarding the ability to proceed forward,” Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said in a statement. “As time progressed and after hours of discussion with our Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee, it became abundantly clear that there was too much uncertainty regarding potential medical risks to allow our student-athletes to compete this fall.”

The Big Ten touts itself as the oldest college athletic conference in the country, dating back to 1896 when it was called the Western Conference, and its schools have been playing football ever since. It became the Big Ten in 1918 and grew into a football powerhouse.

The 14 Big Ten schools span from Maryland and Rutgers on the East Coast to Iowa and Nebraska out west. Not only has it been one of the most successful conferences on the field but off the field it has become one of the wealthiest.

The Big Ten, with its lucrative television network, distributes about $50 million per year to its members.

Trump, coaches push for college football as cracks emerge


President Donald Trump joined a U.S. senator and a number of coaches Monday in the push to save the college football season from a pandemic-forced shutdown.

There was speculation that two of the five most powerful conferences — the Big Ten and the Pac-12 — might call off their seasons. Farther east, Old Dominion canceled fall sports and became the first school in the Bowl Subdivison to break from its league in doing so; the rest of Conference USA was going forward with plans to play.

A Big Ten spokesman said no votes had been taken by its presidents and chancellors on fall sports as of Monday afternoon and the powerful Southeastern Conference made clear it was not yet ready to shutter its fall season.

“Best advice I’ve received since COVID-19: ‘Be patient. Take time when making decisions. This is all new & you’ll gain better information each day,’” SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey posted on Twitter. ”Can we play? I don’t know. We haven’t stopped trying.”

A growing number of athletes have spoken out about saving the season with Clemson star quarterback Trevor Lawrence among the group posting their thoughts on Twitter with the hashtag #WeWantToPla. Trump threw his support behind them Monday.

“The student-athletes have been working too hard for their season to be cancelled,” he tweeted.

Old Dominion has stopped trying. The Virginia school canceled football and other fall sports less than a week after Conference USA set out a plan to play a football season.

“We concluded that the season – including travel and competition – posed too great a risk for our student-athletes,” ODU President Broderick said.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh took a different stand, saying the Wolverines have shown players can be safe after they return to school.

“I’m not advocating for football this fall because of my passion or our players desire to play but because of the facts accumulated over the last eight weeks since our players returned to campus on June 13,” he wrote. “I am advocating on August 10 that this virus can be controlled and handled because of these facts.”

Sen. Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican, picked up on the safer-with-football theme in a letter to the presidents and chancellors of the Big Ten.

“Life is about tradeoffs. There are no guarantees that college football will be completely safe — that’s absolutely true; it’s always true,” he wrote. “But the structure and discipline of football programs is very likely safer than what the lived experience of 18- to 22-year-olds will be if there isn’t a season.”

“Here’s the reality: Many of you think that football is safer than no football, but you also know that you will be blamed if there is football, whereas you can duck any blame if you cancel football,” added Sasse, a former college president. “This is a moment for leadership. These young men need a season. Please don’t cancel college football.”

Players unite in push to save college season, create union


Michigan defensive back Hunter Reynolds saw the tweets from Trevor Lawrence and other college football players pushing for the opportunity to play this season despite the pandemic.

Reynolds, one of the organizers behind a players’ rights movement in the Big Ten, didn’t like the way some on social media seemed to be pitting Lawrence’s message against the efforts of #BigTenUnited and #WeAreUnited.

“There was a lot of division,” Reynolds told AP early Monday morning.

Reynolds got on a call with Lawrence and the star quarterback’s Clemson teammate, Darien Rencher, and within a matter of hours the summer of athlete empowerment found another gear.

College football players from across the country united Sunday in an attempt to save their season and ensure they will no longer be left out of the sport’s biggest decisions.

Lawrence, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, Oklahoma State All-America running back Chuba Hubbard, Alabama running back Najee Harris and numerous other players from Florida State to Oregon posted a graphic on social media with #WeWantToPlay and #WeAreUnited.

“We came to the conclusion, We Want to Play, their message might have been conveyed differently but at the end of the day the message wasn’t too far off from what Big Ten United wanted to promote,” Reynolds said. “Which is we all want to play sports this fall. Every athlete, I’m pretty sure, wants to play their sports. They just want to do so safely.”

The #WeAreUnited hashtag was used a week ago by a group of Pac-12 players in announcing a movement they say has the support of hundreds of peers within their conference. They have threatened mass opt-outs by players if concerns about COVID-19 protocols, racial injustice in college sports and economic rights for athletes are not addressed.

#BigTenUnited arrived on the scene a couple days later, a movement that claimed the backing off 1,000 Big Ten football players. Their demands were more targeted, strictly related to health and safety in dealing with COVID-19.

Sunday night, the call with Reynolds, Rencher and Lawrence led to a Zoom meeting — of course — with some of the Pac-12 players involved in “WeAreUnited.”

Washington State defensive lineman Dallas Hobbs got to work on a graphic and now the movement is officially nationwide.

“Just started bouncing ideas off each others’ heads and kind of discussing where we go from here and we ended up coming up with that statement,” said Reynolds, a senior from South Orange, New Jersey.

Under the logos of each Power Five conference — ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC — the players pronounced their platform:

— We all want to play football this season.

— Establish universal mandated health & safety procedures and protocols to protect college athletes against COVID-19 among all conferences throughout the NCAA.

— Give players the opportunity to opt out and respect their decision.

— Guarantee eligibility whether a player chooses to play the season or not.

— Use our voices to establish open communication and trust between players and officials: Ultimately create a College Football Players Association.

All of this capped a weekend during which the adults who run college sports seemed to be moving toward shutting it all down because of the pandemic.

A day after the Mid-American Conference became the first of the major college football leagues to cancel the fall season, Power Five conference commissioners met Sunday. They discussed mounting concerns about whether a season can be safely conducted with the pandemic still not under control in the United States.

Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said no decisions on the season have been made, but conceded the outlook has not improved.

“Are we in a better place today than two weeks, ago? No, we’re not,” he said.

Bowlsby cited “growing evidence and the growing pool of data around myocarditis.”

Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart and it has been found in some COVID-19 patients. There is concern it could be a long-term complication of contracting the virus even in young, healthy people, a group that has usually avoided severe cardiovascular symptoms.

Also Sunday night, the Big Ten’s university presidents and chancellors held a previously unscheduled meeting, a person with knowledge of the meeting told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting was not announced by the conference.

Another person with direct knowledge of the meeting, speaking on condition of anonymity, said no votes were taken or decisions made about the college football season.

The final call on whether major college football will played this season rests in the hands of the university presidents who oversee the largest conferences.

With doom and gloom hanging over college football, Lawrence, who has become the face of the sport in a summer of strife, tried to push back the tide with a series of tweets.

“People are at just as much, if not more risk, if we don’t play,” Lawrence posted. “Players will all be sent home to their own communities where social distancing is highly unlikely and medical care and expenses will be placed on the families if they were to contract covid19.”

Penn State tight end Pat Freiermuth had a similar message, and the parents of Ohio State football players weighed in, too.

Reynolds wants athletes to have a say in the meetings that are deciding the fate of their sports — starting now.

”All college athletes through unifying and not being afraid to speak our minds and having social media to kind of mobilize, I think that box on a Zoom call is something that is pretty attainable,” he said. “Especially, in the near future.”

After MAC surrenders to pandemic, will other leagues follow?

MAC football
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In many ways, the Mid-American Conference has little in common with Power Five leagues that first come to mind when fans think of major college football.

There are no 75,000-seat stadiums in the MAC. Million-dollar per year coaches are rare. In a typical season, NFL scouts might find one or two potential first-round draft picks playing at the 12 MAC schools that dot the Midwest. The MAC’s biggest games — #MACtion, if you will — are often played on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Its television deal with ESPN pays per year only a few million more than the $9 million Clemson pays coach Dabo Swinney.

Still, the MAC is one of 10 conferences that competes in the NCAA’s highest level of football, and Saturday it became the first of those to surrender to the coronavirus pandemic and cancel the fall sports season.

So is the MAC an anomaly, done in by its small budgets or is this a dire sign of things to come in college football?

“I won’t try to judge what other folks are doing,” MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said. “I know we’re all in the same place. They all have their advisers. They’re going to make judgments based on the information they are receiving.”

Not long after the MAC announced it would explore second-semester seasons for all fall sports, including soccer and volleyball, the Big Ten made its own announcement that seemed ominous given the timing.

Tapping the brakes on football’s preseason, the Big Ten told its schools that until further notice full contact practices cannot begin. All teams will remain in the first two days of what is known as the “acclimatization period,” working out in just helmets. The first Big Ten games of the season are scheduled for Sept. 5.

“As we have consistently stated, we will continue to evaluate daily, while relying on our medical experts, to make the best decisions possible for the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes,” the Big Ten said in a statement.

The MAC’s schools were facing a significant financial burden by trying to maintain costly COVID-19 protocols, while also dealing with the uncertainty that campuses can be opened safely.

A move to the spring, however, could also be budget-buster if it means less revenue from the ESPN deal, which pays each school about $1 million per year, and football ticket sales. The MAC also shares about $90 million per year in College Football Playoff money with four other conferences.

“It would be naive to say that you don’t give thought and consideration to what the financial ramifications of any decision are, but this was a health and well-being decision first and foremost,” Steinbrecher said. “As we sit here today we don’t know what this will mean financially and how the rest of the fall plays out.”

Steinbrecher said the decision effects only fall sports, not basketball or others that begin in the second semester such as baseball, softball and lacrosse.

He added the decision was unanimous among the membership. Northern Illinois athletic director Sean Frazier, supported by NIU President Lisa Freeman, has been a vocal advocate of delaying the season.

“No one wants to have football or sports more than me,” said Frazier, who played football at Alabama in the late 1980s. “Football gave me all the opportunities I have today, but I can’t do it at the expense of people’s lives.”

Eastern Michigan athletic director Scott Wetherbee said he has been feeling a sense of inevitability for two weeks about the MAC canceling fall football, but can’t predict whether this decision trickles up to other conferences.

“Could it? Certainly. There’s certainly a narrative out there that could happen,” Wetherbee said. “No, it wouldn’t shock me if some followed suit. In fact, it would shock me if some didn’t.”

NCAA chief medical officer Brian Hainline made clear that even though plans for the football season have been adjusted to accommodate potential COVID-19 disruptions like the ones Major League Baseball has had, they are all still aspirational.

“Almost everything would have to be perfectly aligned to continue moving forward,” Hainline said Friday during the NCAA’s weekly video chat on social media.

As the Power Five conferences re-worked their schedules to play exclusively or mostly within their conferences, another of the MAC’s revenue streams dried up.

MAC schools, with athletic budgets in the $30 million range, rely heavily on payouts from road games against power conference teams. Kent State alone had more than $5 million in so-called guarantee games canceled. Whether they can be recouped and when is still to be determined. Without that revenue, the strain became too great of trying to keep players and staff safe during a pandemic.

“Certainly there was a cost attached to it,” Wetherbee said. “But as a league we were prepared to do it.”

The move to try spring football has already been going on in the second tier of Division I.

Nine of 13 conferences that play in the Championship Subdivision, have postponed fall football seasons. The first was the Ivy League in early July.

Now it’s the MAC, which was among the first conferences to limit fan access to its basketball tournament in March as concerns for the virus began to soar across the country. On March 12, the MAC was among many conferences to call off their tournaments hours before the NCAA canceled all of March Madness.

“If you told me in March we’d be here today,” Steinbrecher said, “I’d never have believed it”