Ohio State football may not play games this fall, at least as of now, but the Buckeyes are getting practice in anyway. Players were on the field for a non-mandatory practice today, the school confirmed.
After news of the practice leaked out, some have speculated that it means that some sort of Big Ten season could be coming this fall. Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos recently shot down the rumor that Oct. 10 could be a new start date, as has been reported by Dan Patrick, but acknowledged that the league is discussing the potential to start a season on Thanksgiving.
In any event, it doesn’t sound like this Ohio State football practice means anything for the future of the 2020 Big Ten season. The NCAA has allowed teams to practice for up to 12 hours per week, with five hours of on-field work being permitted. The Buckeyes are taking advantage of that allowance.
Bill Landis of The Athletic confirmed more details about the practice. Players in attendance wore helmets and “spider pads,” indicating that there was some light contact, but nothing too involved.
From Ohio State spokesperson: OSU practiced today, non-contact, in helmets and spider pads. Wasn’t mandatory, but does count against 12-hour weekly limit (5-hour on-field limit) set by NCAA for teams that aren’t playing this fall.
— billlandis25 (@BillLandis25) September 2, 2020
This has been quite a week for the world of college football rumors and conspiracy theories. Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields is currently trending on Twitter, due to the news that Georgia quarterback Jamie Newman, an offseason graduate transfer from Wake Forest, has opted out. USC transfer J.T. Daniels is now the likely starter in Athens if he is cleared to play, but because Fields was in town and stopped by UGA’s weekend scrimmage, Bulldog fans are having a…*ahem*…field day with the notion that he could transfer back to the school at which he started his college career, as unlikely as that is less than a month from the SEC’s Week 1.
It is unclear if Fields was at this non-mandatory Ohio State practice today, but he’s made it pretty clear that he wants to play another season for the Buckeyes if possible. It seems more likely if the Big Ten can get things off the ground in the fall, giving him plenty of time ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft. Even so, it would be hard to blame any top prospect for skipping the year, given all of the uncertainty and money on the line.
On Tuesday, Ohio State president Kristina Johnson expressed optimism that her Buckeyes program would be able to play in some capacity this fall. It still seems like anyone’s guess. Things have changed by the hour over the last few weeks.
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