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Oregon WR Mycah Pittman urges Pac-12 to reconsider fall football decision

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Mycah Pittman wants to play football this fall.

The Oregon wide receiver penned a note on Twitter Tuesday night asking the Pac-12 to allow players the opportunity to opt-in or opt-out of the 2020 season.

As James Crepea of The Oregonian noted, Pittman's father, Michael, mentioned this spring that a family member was battling COVID-19. 

Pittman isn't alone in his decision. Oregon offensive line coach Alex Mirabal, strength and conditioning coach Aaron Feld and offensive guard Marcus Harper II were among staff and players who joined Pittman in demanding the conference start its football season. 

The post comes hours after USC football players Amon-Ra St. Brown and Kedon Slovis urged California Gov. Gavin Newsom to lift restrictions prohibiting players in the state from practicing.

While NFL teams have been given the clearance to play this fall due to their daily coronavirus testing protocols, Pac-12 teams in California and Oregon remain on lockdown from practicing.

With the current restrictions in place, it makes it difficult for the Pac-12 Conference to reconsider its decision in resuming football activities this fall.

The Big Ten is expected to announce it approved an 8-game slate beginning on October 17, as Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Tuesday, meaning the Pac-12 would be the lone Power Five conference to not participate in fall football.

ESPN’s Heather Dinich reported earlier this week that the Pac-12’s “most aggressive” return to play plan would have players back on the field by late November. This comes after the conference announced its partnership with Quidel Corporation, which manufactures FDA-approved rapid tests that enable student-athletes to be tested daily for the coronavirus.

 

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott called the purchase of the new tests a "game-changer" and said the conference will begin testing on student-athletes in October.

Oregon has told its players to report to campus on September 20 with training beginning a week later. Meanwhile, other Pac-12 coaches such as Oregon State's Jonathan Smith have stated they need six weeks of full-contact practice before playing games. 

If that's the case, and the six-week training period is implemented, then the Pac-12 college football season could begin as soon as November 7, speculatively speaking, two months ahead of the tentatively scheduled January 1, 2021 timeline. 

The letter to Gov. Newsom from USC players could be the launching point for the Pac-12’s return to football. Will Oregon and Oregon State players be next to pen a letter to Gov. Kate Brown?

Last week, Ducks tackle Penei Sewell and corners Deommodore Lenoir and Thomas Graham opted not to play for Oregon in the delayed Pac-12 season and will begin preparing for the NFL draft.

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest Oregon football coach Mario Cristobal]