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Penn State Football Parents Association Releases Statement Supporting Season

Amid reports of the Big Ten voting to cancel the fall college football season, Penn State football parents released a letter late Sunday night in support of the upcoming season.

Dianne Freiermuth, mother of star Nittany Lion tight end Pat Freiermuth, wrote the letter on behalf of the Penn State Football Parents Association. The association is in full support of a season this fall, and stated that it has faith in the safety standards set forth by Penn State Athletics and the Big Ten.

“The Penn State Football Parents Association supports the standards set by the Big Ten Conference  Our sons are regularly tested and contact tracing protocols have been developed to ensure player safety as well as parent confidence,” the statement read. “A small number of athletes have been quarantined and isolated as an appropriate response to a positive test result.  I truly believe that these young men are being cared for both physically and mentally in a manner that could not be replicated in their own homes.”

Freiermuth added that parents have had constant communication via Zoom with head coach James Franklin, team doctors, and trainers. She also stated that all players were given the opportunity to opt out of the currently scheduled fall season.

“Families were made aware of the opt out procedure and at no time were players pressured to participate in an uncomfortable situation,” Freiermuth said.

“The players want to play this season.  While risk can never be eliminated Penn State has minimized this risk and the season can be played in a safe manner.  While I respect the viewpoint of others who may feel differently about the upcoming season, I have full trust in the decisions made by our football coaches and staff,” the statement added.

Along with parents, several Penn State football players shared support by tweeting “I Want To Play” throughout this past weekend. The social media movement was likely a direct response to growing rumors that the the Big Ten and other power five conferences are seriously considering cancelling the fall season.

As of now, Penn State football is slated to start its 10-game, conference-only schedule on September 5 against Northwestern. But a Monday morning report by Dan Patrick and The Athletic’s Brett McMurphy stated Big Ten presidents held an internal vote and are prepared to cancel fall football by a 12-2 margin.

You can read the Penn State Football Parents Association’s full statement here:

Nittany Nation and College Football Community:

In response to the ongoing discussions regarding the Big Ten football and FBS football season, I would like to provide you with a perspective from the Penn State Football Parents Association.

The Penn State University Athletic Department in conjunction with the Football Medical and Training staffs have led the nation in ensuring the safety of the players, our sons, the coaches and support staff over the last two months.

The Penn State Football Parents Association supports the standards set by the Big Ten Conference.  Our sons are regularly tested and contact tracing protocols have been developed to ensure player safety as well as parent confidence.  A small number of athletes have been quarantined and isolated as an appropriate response to a positive test result.  I truly believe that these young men are being cared for both physically and mentally in a manner that could not be replicated in their own homes.

Parents of Penn State football players have been invited to participate in Zoom meetings with  Head Coach James Franklin, team doctors, trainers, strength and conditioning coaches as well as sports performance staff since March.  Families were made aware of the opt out procedure and at no time were players pressured to participate in an uncomfortable situation.

The players want to play this season.  While risk can never be eliminated Penn State has minimized this risk and the season can be played in a safe manner.  While I respect the viewpoint of others who may feel differently about the upcoming season, I have full trust in the decisions made by our football coaches and staff.

WE ARE!!

Respectfully. 

Dianne Freiermuth

President, Penn State Football Parents Association

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About the Author

Will Pegler

Will is a junior majoring in digital and print journalism and is Onward State's sports editor. He is from Darien, Connecticut and is a lifelong Penn State football fan. He loves a good 80's comedy movie, Peaky Blinders, The Office, and the New York Yankees and Giants. You can catch some of his ridiculous sports takes on his Twitter @gritdude and yell at him on his email [email protected]

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