Outrage is growing as Ohio State University remains silent about the Big 10’s decision to postpone football.
In an open letter on the decision, Big 10 Commissioner Kevin Warren said:
We thoroughly understand and deeply value what sports mean to our student-athletes, their families, our coaches, and our fans. The vote by the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors (COP/C) was overwhelmingly in support of postponing fall sports and will not be revisited.
Citing the pandemic as the reasoning behind the postponing of fall sports Warren stated “we understand the disappointment and questions surrounding the timing of our decision to postpone fall sports, especially in light of releasing a football schedule only six days prior to that decision.”
Warren’s statements seemed to be contradicted by OSU Athletics Director Alex Smith said that he and OSU President-Elect Kristina Johnson had worked together to ensure that the season would have continued, as usual, with just a slight delay, instead of a full postponement. Smith thanked Johnson saying “I am so grateful to her for all her efforts in support of our student-athletes and a traditional fall season.”
Kristina Johnson said in a statement “As a former collegiate athlete whose career in sports was cut short by circumstances beyond my control, I deeply feel the pain, frustration, and disappointment that all our players, coaches and staff – and all Buckeye fans – are feeling today.”
Hundreds of protesters gathered at OSU’s Horseshoe to demand answers and to show their discontent about the decision by the conference to cancel the previously scheduled season.
A speaker at the rally called on the big 10 to revisit the decision saying: “These Buckeyes fans are asking the presidents, the commissioners, the Big 10, Kevin Warren, and everyone who gets paid six figures to make sure these kids can play safe and have a chance for a national championship.” The crowd, made up of Buckeyes fans holding signs calling for transparency and the re-opening of football, booed at the mention of Warren’s name.
President of the Football Parents of Ohio State Amanda Vass echoed the demands for transparency and shock at the cancellation of fall sports: “We had a schedule August 5th… what happened?”
President Trump called for the reinstatement of the Big 10’s fall season on Twitter, calling the decision a political maneuver.
No, I want Big Ten, and all other football, back – NOW. The Dems don’t want football back, for political reasons, but are trying to blame me and the Republicans. Another LIE, but this is what we are up against! They should also open up all of their Shutdown States.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 28, 2020
Ohio Governor Mike Dewine has recently okayed the reopening of all sports, including football in the state. While a number of restrictions will be enforced on both players and spectators, K-12 students, amateur, professional and even collegiate sports will be allowed to proceed almost as normal.
It is unclear what risks college athletes face or pose that high school and even professional athletes do not.
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