Ohio State Football Coach Ryan Day Blasts Big Ten: 'Why Can't They Play?'
Ohio State head football coach Ryan Day wants answers from the Big Ten about when the conference plans to start the football season.
In a statement Thursday, Day said that communication with the Big Ten has been "disappointing and often unclear." He argues there's still an opportunity to allow players to "safely compete for a national championship this fall."
The Big Ten announced on August 11 it was postponing its fall football season, along with all other fall sports, because of concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. The Pac-12 soon followed suit, with both conferences suggesting they could pick the seasons back up in the spring.
At the same time, however, six other major college football conferences announced they would forge ahead. The Big 12 and Atlantic Coast Conference are kicking off this weekend, with Day citing the upcoming games between Duke and Notre Dame, and Clemson and Wake Forest, as examples of other teams being allowed to compete.
"The Big Ten medical subcommittee has done an excellent job of creating a safe pathway toward returning to play in mid-October," Day wrote. "Our players want to know: why can't they play?"
Last month, Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren wrote an open letter defending the decision, saying that "transmission rates continue to rise at an alarming rate" and "there is simply too much we do not know about the virus, recovery from infection, and longer-term effects.”
According to the Associated Press, Ohio State was among the three Big Ten schools to vote against postponing the fall football season. Since the start of the fall semester, however, Ohio State reports that 1,814 students and 27 employees have tested positive for COVID-19, and new president Kristina Johnson has warned that the campus could be shut down again if positivity rates increase.
An online petition launched by Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields has garnered over 300,000 signatures urging the Big Ten to reinstate the fall season.