Ohio State football parents aren't ready to give up on football in 2020.
In a letter written to Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren, the Football Parents Association of Ohio State are asking him and the rest of the leadership of the Big Ten to reconsider cancelling the 2020 football season.
We believe that the August 11th decision was made in haste. As we have continued to learn nationally about COVID-19, our understanding and protocols in dealing with this virus have also continued to evolve. In the best interests of our players, we strongly believe that the Big Ten should re-evaluate its decision.
Among the things that the FPAOS are requesting are:
- A reinstatement of the schedule released on Aug. 5, or “in the event the fall season is deemed not to be in the best interests of the athletes, provide a detailed plan for an alternate season.”
- Full transparency to coaches, players and parents regarding the data used to reach the decision to cancel fall sports
- A Zoom meeting between Warren, players and their parents
- Allow teams who are prepared to play to play, while giving those who are not the right to forfeit or opt out until next season
- A detailed action plan including standard practices and safety protocols for all teams
- A response by Wednesday
The parents close their letter to Warren by pointing out that "football is a game of risk."
Our sons work extremely hard for the opportunity to play and fully understand the risks involved when they step out on to the field. Their personal decisions should be acknowledged and honored to give them the opportunity to compete as athletes in the game they love.
This letter comes after a week full of debate and just four days after the Big Ten's decision to cancel all fall sports competition for the 2020 season. In that time, many Ohio State players, coaches and parents have expressed anger about the decision, while the possible development of a rapid saliva test for COVID-19 reported on Saturday prompted even more questions about whether the Big Ten made a decision too soon.
Parents from Iowa, Nebraska and Penn State have also sent letters to Warren protesting the decision to postpone the football season to spring. Amanda Peterson Babb, the stepmom of Ohio State wide receiver Kamryn Babb and the president of Football Parents at Ohio State, told Eleven Warriors that the letter sent out by Iowa parents on Friday prompted Ohio State parents to do the same on Saturday.
“We talked to some Iowa parents and some Nebraska parents as well, and based on what the Iowa parents had done, we figured it was time to send out a similar letter to the commissioner about some of the lack of transparency and communication that we were feeling as parents,” Babb said.
Asked whether she thought the letter would make a difference in the Big Ten's next steps, Babb said she was “hopeful.”
“Kamryn actually just texted me and he said, ‘Do you think it will make a difference?’ And I said, ‘I don’t know,’” Babb said. “As a parent, you never stop fighting, right? You’re gonna do whatever you can. And I just feel like we have to exhaust all options that are available to us and this is just one thing that we have available. So we’re gonna continue to fight.
“And it’s all of the parents at Ohio State. We have class reps and they’re reaching out to all of the respective classes, and all of the responses we’re getting back from the parents is nothing but support. So we will continue to fight as long as we feel like we have a fight to give.”
The full letter from Ohio State parents: