Ryan Day Says Big Ten Canceling Season Now Would Be “Abrupt,” Ohio State Will “Look at Every Option” if Season is Canceled

By Dan Hope on August 10, 2020 at 6:13 pm
Ryan Day

Ohio State coach Ryan Day appeared on ESPN's College Football Live on Monday evening to make his plea to the Big Ten not to cancel the season.

During his appearance on ESPN2 on Monday, Day said he thought it would be “abrupt” to cancel the season now and that the Big Ten should postpone the start of the season if necessary in order to continue evaluating whether it will be safe to play this fall.

“We cannot cancel the season right now,” Day said. “We have to at the very least postpone it and allow us a little bit of time to keep reevaluating everything that’s going on. That’s the reason why we put this (10-game conference-only) schedule together, to have some flexibility. If we need to take a deep breath, let’s take a deep breath. But let’s do everything we can, we owe it to these kids to exhaust every single option we possibly can, and then we go from there. But doing that right now, to me right now, would be abrupt.”

Day said other coaches around the Big Ten have expressed to him that they want to play this fall, too, and that players believe they are safer at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center and practicing and playing with the team than they would be without it. And he believes those players, along with their parents and coaches, should have a voice in the conversation of whether or not the season should be played.

“For them to not play football, it’s going to be a major hit for them,” Day said. “But we also know that we have to make sure it’s safe and healthy for them. That’s our job. We present it to them, and then let them make the decision with their family whether they think it’s safe enough. Whether it is or not, who knows. But I still think we need a little more time before we make this decision.”

If the Big Ten does move to cancel the season, Day said Ohio State will “need to look at every option,” potentially even including playing a season outside of the conference structure.

“If that’s the only option at the time, we need to explore it, see if that’s something that we could possibly do,” Day said. “Because if it is and that’s what’s best for our kids, then certainly we need to look at that and do it. But, you know, in the meantime, there’s a lot of other things that are going to come up along the way that we think we can keep getting better at. This virus changes every day. We’re learning about it. We're learning more about testing, testing’s getting better every day. And we’ve created a really good environment here. And I think we can keep getting it better and keep talking throughout the conference and throughout the country on how to make it better and share ideas. Because things are happening so fast, I just think a little bit of time could go a long way.”

Day's appearance on ESPN2 on Monday evening came after reports earlier Monday that the Big Ten was planning to cancel the season, potentially as soon as Monday night or Tuesday morning, following a meeting of conference presidents and chancellors on Sunday. Cancellation no longer appears to be so imminent, however; a source indicated that Big Ten chancellors and presidents are not meeting on Monday night, though The Athletic's Bill Landis reported that Big Ten athletic directors were set to meet on Monday.

During an interview with ABC6's Clay Hall on Monday night, Day also confirmed it was his understanding that Ohio State president-elect Kristina Johnson would not vote against playing this fall.

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