Ryan Day Believes Season Can Start Safely in Mid-October, Calls Communication from Big Ten “Disappointing and Often Unclear”

By Dan Hope on September 10, 2020 at 4:23 pm
Ryan Day and his team

The Ohio State Buckeyes want to play this fall, and they want to know why they aren't able to play now.

In a statement released by Ryan Day on Thursday afternoon, Ohio State's coach said he believes the Big Ten's medical subcommittee “has done an excellent job of creating a safe pathway toward returning to play in mid-October,” and that players want to know why they are unable to play while other conferences are playing right now.

“While I understand the Big Ten Conference’s decision to postpone the football season because of health and safety considerations, the communication of information from the Big Ten following the decision has been disappointing and often unclear,” Day said. “However, we still have an opportunity to give our young men what they have worked so hard for: a chance to safely compete for a national championship this fall.”

Day said he “couldn't possibly be prouder of how this team, our medical personnel, athletic director and president have stayed together and managed through this extremely difficult time with so many unanswered questions.”

“These young men and their parents have asked so many questions that I do not have an answer to, but the one that hurts the most is ‘Why can these other teams and players play and we can’t?’” Day said. “Duke is playing Notre Dame, and Clemson is playing Wake Forest this weekend. Our players want to know: why can't they play?”

Thursday's statement is the first time Day has commented publicly on his team's desire to play this fall since Aug. 17, when he said he supported Justin Fields' petition for the Big Ten fall season to be reinstated. 

It comes on the same day that Penn State coach James Franklin also made pointed comments toward the Big Ten, as he told ESPN Radio on Thursday that “we just haven’t gotten great communication from the beginning” from the conference since its decision to postpone fall sports, which was made one day ago tomorrow. Nebraska president Ted Carter also said during a TV interview on Thursday that “it's time for the Big Ten to put out a plan.”

Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday that the Big Ten will not vote until this weekend “at the earliest” to decide on when its 2020 football season will be played.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said Thursday afternoon that he had been in communication with OSU athletic director Gene Smith on Thursday morning and that he believes “there's a pretty good argument” to get the Big Ten football season going soon.

Despite the uncertainty that surrounds when the Buckeyes will finally get to play games again, the team has continued to hold practices at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center – while adhering to the 12-hour limit for teams that are not currently scheduled to play this fall – in hopes that the Big Ten will ultimately allow them to play a fall season and compete for a berth in the College Football Playoff.

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