The NCAA is designating Nov. 3 as a day off for student-athletes so they can vote in the national election, and is encouraging member schools to help athletes get registered.
The NCAA released this statement Friday:
"President Mark Emmert and the NCAA Board of Governors recognize the important role social engagement has on driving positive societal change. The recent demonstrations following the tragic killing of George Floyd showed the world the power of protest and student-athletes across the country were at the center of that movement. We commend NCAA student-athletes who recognized the need for change and took action though safe and peaceful protest. We encourage students to continue to make their voices heard on these important issues, engage in community activism and exercise their Constitutional rights. Further, we encourage all member schools to assist students in registering to vote in the upcoming national election and designate November 3, 2020 as a day off from athletics activity so athletes can vote and participate in their ultimate responsibility as citizens."
OU athletic director Joe Castiglione spoke on the topic Wednesday, saying he would approve of athletes having that day off. If the football schedule remains constant, it means the Sooners won't hold their second practice of the week leading into a road game at West Virginia on Nov. 7.
Here is Castiglione's full quote:
"I would expand that to include staff. I don’t know how many of our staff vote in our elections. I would guess a large majority do. But it needs to be something everybody fulfills as a responsibility, especially if we’re going to lead by example for our student-athletes.
"So I would tell you it’s not just that type of action being discussed, but what we can do to help our student-athletes, and staff for that matter, to the issues on the ballot. This year it’s obvious, we’re electing a new president for our country. But there are a lot of other issues that are on ballots and other elections, whether they’re other offices or major issues they should be informed about so they can use their vote wisely. So we want to be able to have programs in place not only to recognize the time and opportunity for them to fulfill a right they have to go vote, but to be better educated on how they can use their vote and what would be before them on ballots. I hope this doesn’t just stop with this election, but that they’re more engaged on elections going forward."