Tonight brings the first college football game with an FBS team, with Miami hosting UAB. This weekend features more games involving ACC and Big 12 games. Meanwhile Big Ten powers like Ohio State football are sidelined for the foreseeable future. As we near the start of the season for many teams, Ryan Day is still looking for answers from his conference.
“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 wrote in a powerful new statement, aimed at the Big Ten. “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.”
“I 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. The Big Ten medical subcommittee has done an excellent job of creating a safe pathway toward returning to play in mid-October.”
A potential course reversal for the Big Ten, and an October start to the season, has been rumored for a while. A number of higher-ups, including the athletic directors at Iowa and Nebraska, have more or less shot it down as a realistic option. There have been discussions about a late-November start around Thanksgiving, but that would almost definitely be too late for a team like Ohio State football to get involved in national championship discussions.
— Ryan Day (@ryandaytime) September 10, 2020
“These young men and their parents have asked so many questions that I do not have an answer to,” Ryan Day continued. “But the one that hurts the most is ‘Why can these other teams and players play and we can’t?’”
“Duke is playing Notre Dame, and Clemson is playing Wake Forest this weekend. Our players want to know: why can’t they play?
It is hard to blame the Big Ten for making a cautious decision, given all the unknowns surrounding long term effects of COVID-19. Day acknowledges as much in his letter. Even if you agree with the league’s decision, it is hard to argue against the complaint that communication from Kevin Warren and the group of school presidents and chancellors, who cast the vote to postpone the season, has been pretty poor.
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