Lovie Smith returned to his office in the Smith Center for the first time in months earlier this week.
But Wednesday, some Illinois players spoke out on Twitter about the potential dangers of having to play college football in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
It started when Illinois linebacker Milo Eifler tweeted this.
I understand that people want to see us play this season but in reality how can a team full of 100+ student athletes fully function during a pandemic. Trust, my teammates and I want to play. But schools around the country are showing blatant disregard for student athletes.— Milo (@_miloeifler) July 1, 2020
Running back Mike Epstein followed, saying he wants to play “more than anything,” but believes there’s a price to pay.
My brothers & I want to play more than anything, but at what point during this global pandemic do we put our health & safety before the money & entertainment... https://t.co/qTrHLcsABy— Mike Epstein (@Dat26Kid) July 1, 2020
Other Illini followed Eifler and Epstein’s lead.
July 1, 2020
July 1, 2020
“Nobody is holding you hostage.” “If don’t want to play, then don’t.” Yea, because it’s that simple, right? https://t.co/7o30waT0XU— Kendrick J. Green (@The_fridge53) July 1, 2020
Big talk. https://t.co/15cs9F379L— Dalevon Campbell (@DaleCamp18) July 1, 2020
Of course, Illinois has put a lot of plans into place to quarantine players when they arrive on campus and keep them safe throughout the summer, but, as is the case across the country, there’s a lot of questions about what happens when the season actually starts.
Eifler followed up with a second tweet, too, asking for college football players to “use your voice as a platform for change.”
For those college football players out there use your voice as a platform for change. The things we go through daily are never shown to the public this our chance to demand what’s right. A new way of thinking as opposed to just going through the motions.— Milo (@_miloeifler) July 1, 2020
Let’s see if other voices speak out now.