United States President Donald Trump has backed calls led by quarterback Trevor Lawrence for the college football season to be played amid rising coronavirus cases in the country.

Widespread reports suggest the Big Ten is leaning towards pulling the plug on its fall sports season, with the other Power 5 conferences – the ACC, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC – in discussions and possibly following.

But Clemson’s star quarterback Lawrence posted a statement on behalf of the athletes demanding the season to be played, with Trump joining the debate by quote tweeting in response.

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

He wrote: “The student-athletes have been working too hard for their season to be cancelled. #WeWantToPlay.”

“We want to play football this season,” read the players’ statement. “Establish universal mandated health and safety procedures and protocols to protect college athletes against Covid-19 among all conferences throughout the NCAA.

“Give players the opportunity to opt out and respect their decision. Guarantee eligibility whether a player chooses to play the season or not.

“Use our voices to establish open communication and trust between players and officials.

“Ultimately create a college football players association. Representative of the players of all Power 5 conferences.”

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