Randy Wade and several other Ohio State parents wanted to make a statement on Friday morning, so they traveled to Big Ten headquarters in Rosemont, Illinois – along with parents from three other Big Ten schools – to hold a rally.
While they weren't allowed to protest directly in front of the Big Ten offices – and no one who works for the conference was actually on hand for the rally – the headquarters could be seen in the backdrop as numerous parents addressed a crowd of supporters and media on the turf in front of a nearby mall.
Randy Wade, the father of Ohio State cornerback Shaun Wade and the organizer of Friday's rally, spoke for about nine minutes. After calling for a 17-second moment of silence to honor the 170,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19, Wade called for transparency from Big Ten officials and for commissioner Kevin Warren and the conference's 14 athletic directors to have a Zoom meeting with parents' associations from each school to answer questions that they have about the decision to postpone fall sports and the conference's plan for a winter/spring season. After answering some questions from reporters, Wade started a “Let us play!” chant among the parents in attendance.
Andrea Tate, the mother of Ohio State cornerback Sevyn Banks, gave one of the most passionate speeches of the morning. Tate said she believes the Big Ten needs to trust the coaches to keep their players safe and for players to be allowed to make their own decisions on whether they should play this fall.
Candace Wilson, the mother of Ohio State wide receiver Garrett Wilson, also spoke to the crowd on hand. In her speech, Wilson praised Ryan Day and the Ohio State football program and their communication with parents on the protocols they've put in place to protect their players during the pandemic.
Tuf Borland's parents and Luke Farrell's parents also both made the trip to Rosemont for Friday's rally, and Eleven Warriors caught up with Tuf's father Kyle Borland and Luke's father Matt Farrell to get their thoughts on what they want to hear from the Big Ten and how this affects their sons, who are both seniors and potential 2021 NFL draft prospects.
Parents of two Iowa football players, one Wisconsin football player and one Illinois soccer player also spoke during Friday's rally, which was attended by approximately 30 total parents of Big Ten athletes.