Arizona Wildcats football players Malik Hausman and Drew Dixon were among the Pac-12 athletes to speak out on social media Sunday, asking the conference for greater health protections and financial benefits.
Hausman and Dixon’s comments were in response to the publication of a letter written by Pac-12 football players demanding change from the league as programs ready for a conference-only season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Dixon, a redshirt junior wide receiver who had 14 catches for 143 yards and two touchdowns last season, posted a note on Twitter that read:
The fact that I have to feel concerned about speaking my own voice and opinion so it doesn’t affect my opportunity says a lot!! Y’all that aren’t apart of a college team are always the first to say we got it so easy and our lives are simple, that we should have nothing to complain about. There are too many instances where my peers as well as myself have been treated unfairly. This shit ain’t been easy and I’ve kept my mouth shut for my love for the game and for a concern that if I give my opinion and speak my voice that my opportunity that I worked my whole life for could be taken away. That’s a shame! Come together and speak up! I stand with my Pac-12 brothers and sisters that we deserve our desires of this movement to bet met! Before we participate in a season with an Association that WE create revenue for but aren’t able to see the benefits of that! #WeAreUnited
Hausman, a redshirt junior cornerback who appeared in two games in 2019, wrote on Instagram:
My junior year of high school I went on a recruiting trip to Arizona and I was hit by a drunk driver while walking across the street. This accident not only ended my high school football career this accident also made me realize how much more precious this thing called life is. I realized that life is way more then just a game of football. Ever since I’ve entered college I’ve seen the ups and downs of every athlete on a personal level. Athletes on college campus go through a lot while having to go to class like a regular student also while having meetings workout and practice for their desired sports team while also trying to find money just to feed yourself. The NCAA still trying to have a season shows you that they really only care about themselves and only see us as products of their business. Lastly i wanna say that my school has been doing a great job of tryin’ to get us to return to campus and slowly returning us on the football field. But i cannot say that for the rest of the Pac-12. It’s not fair to us at Arizona that we get tested weekly but at other schools some guys aren’t even getting tested. THIS IS WRONG and unfair to schools that our (sic) testing the right way. This is why I’m standing with the rest of my pac 12 brothers and sisters in sitting out this upcoming football season. #WeAreUnited.
Arizona is scheduled to resume its student-athlete re-entry plan on Monday, with the football team’s newcomers the last group to arrive.
The Wildcats are able to do up to 20 hours per week of “mandatory” activities for the next two weeks as part of the Pac-12’s approved preseason schedule, with training camp able to start Aug. 17 ahead of the first scheduled games on Sept. 26.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Kevin Doyle Jr. on Saturday became the first UA player to announce that he will be opting out of the season, citing COVID-19 concerns.