Arizona sophomore quarterback Grant Gunnell, on the behalf of UA football players, sent a letter to California governor Gavin Newsom to support USC's appeal — issued on Tuesday — for the state to loosen health guidelines in order for the Pac-12 to play football in the fall.
Gunnell, who was also a part of the Pac-12 players' movement, "We Want To Play," in August, said, "Not only are you the governor of the state in which four of our Pac-12 universities reside, but you are also the governor to more than 30 football student-athletes at the University of Arizona who hail from California and whose families remain your constituents."
Citing California's four MLB and three NFL teams currently having seasons in the state, the letter said, "It's difficult for us to understand why we cannot find a path forward even the Pac-12 has consistently made the well-being of student-athletes its top priority."
After the Pac-12 announced its partnership with Quidel to provide efficient daily testing kits, which can yield results in 15 minutes, commissioner Larry Scott said he was hopeful for a change of course to play football before the calendar year. However, health guidelines in California and Oregon suggest participating in football activities is unsafe.
"At this time, our universities in California and Oregon do not have approval from state or local public health officials to start contact practice. We are hopeful that our new daily testing capability can help satisfy public health approvals in California and Oregon to begin contact practices and competition," Scott said in a press release in response to the Big 10's decision on Wednesday to pursue football in the fall.
"We are equally closely monitoring the devastating fires and air quality throughout our region at this time. We are eager for our student-athletes to have the opportunity to play this season, as soon as it can be done safely and in accordance with public health authority approvals."
In a news conference on Wednesday, Newsom said California's health guidelines doesn't affect the Pac-12 playing football in the fall.
"I want to make this crystal clear. Nothing in the state guidelines denies the ability for the Pac-12 to resume," Newsom said. "That’s been a misrepresentation of the facts."
This story is developing. The Star will have more information momentarily.