President Donald Trump is pushing for a college football season this year after reports that the five most powerful college football conferences are moving to cancel their seasons.
On Sunday, Sports Illustrated reported that there are a number of top-level conference calls this week that will determine the future of a fall college football season. On Saturday, the Mid-Atlantic Conference canceled their football seasons.
Trump retweeted Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence — Lawrence is leading a group of college players who say they want to play football this season. They are also hoping to form a player’s association.
Trump wrote, “The student-athletes have been working too hard for their season to be cancelled.”
He followed that up with a tweet reading simply, “Play College Football!”
Play College Football!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2020
During Monday’s press briefing, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany was asked about Trump’s tweet.
McEnany said, “He very much would like to see college football safely resume their sport. And as he mentioned in that tweet, a lot of these college athletes work their whole lives to get four years. Sometimes if they’re redshirted, an extra year, if they’re lucky. They work their whole lives for this moment and he’d like to see them live out their dreams.”
Press Sec. Kayleigh McEnany: "[President Trump] very much would like to see college football safely resume." pic.twitter.com/X6c6mTpfus— The Hill (@thehill) August 10, 2020
A number of other prominent politicians have also called for a 2020 college football season. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) tweeted, “America needs college football.” Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) wrote a letter to the Big Ten presidents asking them not to cancel the season. Sasse’s letter apparently fell on deaf ears — the Detroit Free Press reported that the Big Ten leaders have decided to cancel the season.
Trump’s critics blamed the potential loss of the 2020 season on the president. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) wrote, “Dear @realDonaldTrump: You still haven’t learned that shouting into the wind doesn’t solve problems. If you want college football, then you need to mitigate the virus. That means PPE, faster test results, mask compliance & taking the virus seriously. Everything you haven’t done.”