After a whirlwind Monday, the Big Ten football season got its official ruling Tuesday: cancel the fall season.
After a flurry of #WeWantToPlay tweets from players and coaches in response to reports that the Big Ten was moving to cancel the season, the conference decided to cancel the fall season with hopes of playing in the spring.
“While I know our decision today will be disappointing in many ways for our thousands of student-athletes and their families, I am heartened and inspired by their resilience, their insightful and discerning thoughts, and their participation through our conversations at this point,” Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren said in a statement.
One of the presidents involved in the voting was Ohio State President-elect Kristina M. Johnson. Athletic director Gene Smith said that both he and Johnson were against the decision made by the Big Ten.
“President-elect Johnson and I were totally aligned in our efforts to delay the start of the season rather than postpone,” Smith said in a statement. “I am so grateful to her for all her efforts in support of our student-athletes and a traditional fall season.”
Head coach Ryan Day, as well as other Big Ten coaches, took to social media to express a willingness to fight for the players’ desire to play. Day even took it a step further by going on “College Football Live” on ESPN2 Monday.
“If we need to take a deep breath, let’s take a deep breath,” Day said. “But let’s do everything we can. We owe it to these kids to exhaust every single option we possibly can and then go from there.”
Affected sports include football, men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball.
“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,” Johnson said in a statement. “I will continue to work closely with Athletics Director Gene Smith, Coach Ryan Day and all coaches and other leaders, to return our student-athletes to competition as soon as possible, while staying safe and healthy.”
Ohio State was set to begin its football season with a Sept. 3 trip to Illinois. Ohio State has played a football game every year since 1890.
According to an Ohio State press release, access to team facilities will remain with current protocols, but training regiments and workouts are being determined.
This story was updated at 3:52 p.m., Tuesday, August 11, 2020 with quotes from Gene Smith and Kristina M. Johnson.