A group of student-athletes from Pac-12 schools who are members of the #WeAreUnited campaign has sought to push conference leadership toward quick action to address its demands.
The group published a list of demands in an article on The Player's Tribune calling for action on issues such as the coronavirus pandemic, racial injustice, economic opportunity for student-athletes and protecting non-revenue sports — and threatening to opt-out of both camps and games if the demands weren’t met. The group made national headlines, and caught the attention of Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott, who the group also addressed directly via email.
According to ESPN, Scott responded to the group via email, addressing some of their concerns and proposing a dialogue later this week. That timeline wasn’t quick enough for #WeAreUnited.
"While we appreciate the response, we are looking to move on a faster timeline than you have proposed," read an email that was reportedly approved by the group’s leaders and obtained by ESPN. "We are two weeks from fall camp and would like to work to come to a resolution so that we can play this season. Every day that we don't have discussions puts players at additional risk of COVID."
Scott’s initial response to the group mentioned several conference initiatives, including the promise to protect the scholarships of student-athletes wishing to opt-out of the upcoming season out of concern for their health and safety. "Specific to health and safety, the health and well-being of student-athletes is our No. 1 priority, and for this reason we have made clear on July 10 that any student-athlete who chooses not to return to competition for health or safety reasons will have their scholarship protected and will remain in good standing with their team," Scott wrote.
Scott reportedly did not address some of the more specific action items the #WeAreUnited campaign raised — including the group’s call for a drastic reduction to his $5 million annual salary.
ESPN reports that #WeAreUnited is seeking daily Zoom meetings with Scott and Pac-12 ADs.