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#pounditSaturday, August 8, 2020

Survey indicates vast majority of college football players want to return to campus

Mark Emmert

The NCAA has decided to allow football programs to bring players back to campus for voluntary workouts beginning on June 1, leaving it up to individual conferences to decide how they want to proceed. If the decision were up to the players, the offseason would likely be proceeding as scheduled.

David Ubben of The Athletic surveyed 45 current college football players from the Power 5 conferences, the Group of 5 and the FCS to get an idea of how they feel about returning to campus. Almost 80 percent said they would be comfortable returning to campus to resume football activities even if other students were not allowed to do the same.

The players were asked to rate on a scale of 1 to 5 how comfortable they would feel returning to campus, with 1 being extremely uncomfortable and 5 being extremely comfortable. No players said they would be extremely uncomfortable and only three total responded that their level of comfort would be a 2.

“Honestly, I’d be fine returning today,” one player from a Power 5 team said. “If they want us to wear masks and have us have hand sanitizer in every room we walk into to feel better, I’ll do it. I’m just ready for this to be behind us.”

Players were a little more split on how they would feel not playing in front of fans. More than half of the 45 players said they would rather delay the start of the season than play in empty stadiums, with one Power 5 quarterback expressing concern that “if it’s not safe for fans, it’s probably not safe for players.”

The full results of the poll are worth looking at if you’re interested, but the overall sentiment seems to be that many players are willing to assume the risk associated with returning to campus and playing. The NCAA has extensive guidelines in place for resuming play, and positive tests are to be expected. Ultimately, it will be up to each university to decide what they want to do.

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