The Pac-12 continues to struggle to get things right. It was the last conference to bring college football back, and it’s the only conference that is dealing with an issue like parent attendance. Granted, the conference as a whole isn’t necessarily the issue in this scenario.
Really, the fault doesn’t lie with the individual schools who are involved in this situation, USC and UCLA. It’s the state of California and, more particularly, Los Angeles County.
According to an article from the Los Angeles Times, the parents of several players from those schools are petitioning to be able to watch their sons play the game they love. The game they’ve worked incredible hard at to be able to play.
The parents want to be there in person. They want to be able to support from the stands, an understandable request considering parents of essentially everyone else around the country — at least for the most part — are able to do just that.
But due to an issue with Los Angeles County, that desire isn’t a reality — at least not currently. Instead, fans of any kind in have been barred from attending football games. That decision has been made by local health officials who put guidelines into place.
That’s why the parents are petitioning.
Horace and Shelby McCoy, the parents of USC wide receiver Bru McCoy, are more than willing to fight to be able to see their son play his first college football game on Nov. 7 against Arizona State.
“We’re just dying to see that first time when he runs out of the tunnel,” Shelby McCoy said, via the LA Times article. “It’s like climbing a mountain, and then you get to the top, and you can’t look. As a mom, I just want to be there so bad.”
The support from the head coaches from both schools is strong, as USC coach Clay Helton and UCLA coach Chip Kelly are all for the parents being able to attend games. But it’s not up to them, and there isn’t really anything they can do about it.
“We understand the situation, that we’re very fortunate to even be playing considering what’s happened in L.A. and the community spread problem,” Horace McCoy said. “But I don’t think it’s too much to ask for their parents to be there to support their kids, man. I really don’t.”
Horace is absolutely right. It shouldn’t be too much to ask. Yes, it will be a small crowd, but other schools around the country continue to press on with parents, families and more. That includes other schools in the Pac-12.
Those frustrations among the families of USC and UCLA players pushed them to take action. On Friday, that action included starting a petition that has already received 3,600-plus signatures — and counting.
We’ll see if anything actually comes of it. But the fight continues.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.