Amid Cancelation Reports, Penn State Football Parents Author Letter in Support of Upcoming Season
Amid ongoing reports that the Big Ten football season and the college football season at-large may be on the brink of cancelation or postponement, the Penn State Football Parents Association has released a letter in support of continuing forward with Penn State's and the Big Ten's original preseason plans and eventual start to the season.
Penn State is currently slated to begin the 2020 campaign on Sept. 5 against Northwestern following a previously released and revised Big Ten schedule. The conference announced several weeks ago that it would not take part in out-of-conference play in order to give the league the most flexibility and continuity both in regards to scheduling and COVID-19 testing.
Generally speaking that model has been reflected across Division I football.
The athletic department is scheduled to release new COVID-19 testing numbers this coming Wednesday and releases those results every two weeks. As of the end of July the department had reported eight positive tests and 466 tests with 66 results still pending.
The letter, obtained by StateCollege.com, was drafted by Diane Freiermuth, mother of Penn State star tight end Pat Freiermuth, and can be read in its entirety below.
Nittany Nation and College Football Community:
In response to the ongoing discussions regarding the Big Ten football and FBS football season, I would like to provide you with a perspective from the Penn State Football Parents Association.
The Penn State University Athletic Department in conjunction with the Football Medical and Training staffs have led the nation in ensuring the safety of the players, our sons, the coaches and support staff over the last two months.
The Penn State Football Parents Association supports the standards set by the Big Ten Conference Our sons are regularly tested and contact tracing protocols have been developed to ensure player safety as well as parent confidence A small number of athletes have been quarantined and isolated as an appropriate response to a positive test result. I truly believe that these young men are being cared for both physically and mentally in a manner that could not be replicated in their own homes.
Parents of Penn State football players have been invited to participate in Zoom meetings with Head Coach James Franklin, team doctors, trainers, strength and conditioning coaches as well as sports performance staff since March. Families were made aware of the opt out procedure and at no time were players pressured to participate in an uncomfortable situation.
The players want to play this season. While risk can never be eliminated Penn State has minimized this risk and the season can be played in a safe manner. While I respect the viewpoint of others who may feel differently about the upcoming season, I have full trust in the decisions made by our football coaches and staff.
President, Penn State Football Parents Association