Report: UCLA players don't trust coaches, demand third-party health professional on hand for COVID-19 testing
Thirty UCLA football players have united in support of having a third-party health professional on hand when COVID-19 tests are administered as the team begins returning to campus for voluntary team activities. The reason? According to a report from the Los Angeles Times, several players do not trust head coach Chip Kelly or members of the staff.
According to the report, the document obtained by the Los Angeles Times states that Kelly and other members of the staff may not have the players’ best interest in mind. The document says that UCLA has “perpetually failed us” and claims that the staff and school has “neglected and mismanaged injury cases.”
No specific examples were provided. From the Los Angeles Times:
“These demands reflect our call for an environment in which we do not feel pressured to return to competition, and if we choose not to return, that our decision will be respected,” the document reads. “If our demands are not met, we will refrain from booster events, recruiting events and all football-related promotional activities.
“The decision to return to training amidst a global pandemic has put us, the student-athletes, on the frontlines of a battle that we as a nation have not yet been able to win. We feel that as some of the first members of the community to attempt a return to normalcy, we must have assurances that allow us to make informed decisions and be protected regardless of our decision.”
Voluntary workouts are scheduled to resume for UCLA on Monday.
Per the Los Angeles Times, some players were willing to boycott if demands were not met. Others believed that might be a step too far.
Bruce Feldman of The Athletic reported that Kelly and new UCLA Athletic Director Martin Jarmond will meet with players today at 3 p.m. PT to discuss concerns. The goal is to work through the situation and concerns they may have.