‘We want you guys to play’: Gov. DeSantis voices support for college athletes looking to play amid pandemic

Florida

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Gov. Ron DeSantis held a roundtable discussion about college athletics on Tuesday, voicing his support for players who have said they want to return in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We want you guys to play,” DeSantis said during the discussion at Florida State University.

DeSantis was joined by FSU President John Thrasher, FSU football coach Mike Norvell and two FSU football players who want to get back on the gridiron.

DeSantis says he believes not allowing college sports to start up again in the fall would cause “lasting damage,” adding that he thinks it’s a safe environment.

The governor also mentioned that he asked about potentially welcoming players from other conferences to play in Florida.

“I asked (FSU) President Thrasher and coach about – hey if some of these other conferences shut down, can we welcome their players to the State of Florida?” DeSantis said. “Not exactly sure how the NCAA rules work on that but I can tell you if there’s a way, we want you guys to be able to play.”

The roundtable comes amid a call from college athletes across the country that they want to play this year, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

President Donald Trump voiced his support for those players on Monday, tweeting that, “The student-athletes have been working too hard for their season to be cancelled.”

Gov. DeSantis also expressed his support on Monday, one day before the discussion at FSU.

“These students work their whole lives to be able to get to this point,” he said during a visit to Riverview on Monday.

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