Ohio Gov. Mike Dewine Says There is a “Decent Chance” For a Fall Big Ten Season, Citing Conversations With Ohio State Athletic Gene Smith

By Kevin Harrish on September 8, 2020 at 4:29 pm
Mike DeWine

We don't know when the Big Ten will return to action, but Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine believes there is still a "decent chance" we see Big Ten and Buckeye football this fall.

During his Tuesday press conference, DeWine was asked about the Big Ten's decision to postpone the fall athletics season and the subsequent push for the conference to reinstate fall sports as early as October.

"I don't know whether they made the right call or not, but I think there certainly is a decent chance of there being a season," DeWine said in a press conference. "I talked to Gene Smith this morning about that issue. I’m not going to disclose our conversation other than I inquired about it. He told me it was still in play, still very much a possibility."

DeWine's comments came the same day legislators from Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin signed a letter from Michigan Speaker of the House, Lee Chatfield, to Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren urging him to consider reinstating the football season.

Though he has little say in the matter, DeWine said he believes a football season could safely be played and that Ohio State's athletes are among the safest group of people due to the frequent testing the university employs.

"As you know, it's not any secret, Dr. Johnson's position, Ohio State's decision was to play. I concur in that," DeWine said. "The key is always going to be how it is done. As I told some people, I don't know if I've said it publically or not, but athletes at Ohio State, with their capability of testing very, very, very frequently, could potentially be the safest people."

Ultimately, though, DeWine said doesn't know how the Big Ten's decision will play out, but made it clear that he believes the season is still on the table.

"I don't know what's going to happen in regards to the Buckeyes," DeWine said. "But I know it's still very much in play."

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