Do Not Force Division I College Athletes to Risk Their Health to Compete

Target: Mark Emmert, President of the NCAA

Goal: Do not risk the lives of Division I college athletes for profit during COVID-19 pandemic.

The NCAA has cancelled championships for Division II and Division III college sports in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, they have not cancelled the championships of the more competitive—and more profitable—Division I. The cancellation of the lower divisions is meant to allow for  more social distancing and hopefully prevent the spread of COVID-19 infections on college campuses, especially amongst athletes who may be in close or direct contact with one another during competition.

The NCAA released a statement on their decision, saying: “Division II’s seven fall 2020 championships are cancelled, the Division II Presidents Council decided…due to the operational, logistical and financial challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. NCAA Division III championships in fall sports for 2020-2021 are cancelled. With the health and safety of the division’s student-athletes, coaches, athletics administrators and communities as its priority the Division III Presidents Council made the decision.”

The NCAA has not released any definitive decision on the continuation of Division I sports, and it has until August 21st to do so. However, the failure to cancel Division I activities at the same time as Division II and Division III suggests that the governing bodies are prioritizing profit for colleges over the health and safety of student-athletes. Of course, those who participate in Division I sports are no less susceptible to contracting COVID-19. However, it is no secret that those schools generate upwards of $9 billion in revenue each year from athletics. Sign this petition to urge the NCAA to prioritize health and safety and cancel Division I championships.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Emmert,

The United States is the global epicenter for the COVID-19 pandemic. The US recently surpassed 5 million cases nationally. We have seen that professional sports programs like Major League Baseball are not capable of preventing COVID-19 infection and exposure. The NCAA must put the health and safety of student-athletes at the forefront of any decisions being made during the pandemic. Division I athletes do not have any more protections from COVID-19 than those in Divisions II and III. So, if the pandemic presents a situation that is unsafe for one, it should be obvious that all are at risk. I urge you to cancel the Division I championships for fall 2020.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Ron-Almog




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