What a crazy decade these past few weeks have been. Last week, the Big Ten cancelled the 2020 fall season, and this week commissioner Kevin Warren
provided a ton of answers and transparency released a blanket press release that didn’t answer really any of the prevailing questions.
As we’ve said time and time again on this site, while it isn’t Warren’s fault there won’t be Ohio State football this fall — that decision comes via the university presidents — it is his job to take the heat and answer questions in the aftermath, which he is STILL yet to do. We are all anxiously awaiting the next steps in the process, which is something you would figure should be planned for ahead of time before you cancel a football season. But what do I know?
Hopefully the powers that be are able to come up with a viable plan to return to football action sooner rather than later. When those details do eventually materialize, we here at Land-Grant Holy Land will be sure to keep you updated. Until then, let’s get to today’s headlines.
From around Land-Grant Holy Land...
Latest on Emeka Egbuka, OSU makes top-five for 2022 LB
(Caleb Houser, LGHL)
Ryan Day won’t be tasked with leading a football team on the field this fall, but I can guarantee you he will be putting in work off the field as he continues tearing it up in the recruiting game. Ohio State is still very much in on a pair of five-star recruits from Washington, but with the global pandemic putting a halt on official visits, it could still be some time before we get their final decisions.
12-for-12: Ohio State’s Perfect Season
(Gene Ross, LGHL)
We have all sorts of different fun and outside-the-box ideas to help get you guys through a football-less fall, and I'm very excited about this new series. Using one game from each of the past 12 Ohio State seasons, we have constructed a 12-game schedule for the Buckeyes, complete with both non-conference and Big Ten foes as well as a postseason. The first edition will be dropping next Thursday, so keep an eye out for that.
Crew SC are ready to fill the sports void in Columbus
(Brett Ludwiczak, LGHL)
Our last attempt to fill the football void with a non-Ohio State team didn’t work out so well, as the Columbus Blue Jackets were bounced from the NHL Playoffs on Wednesday. Hopefully the second time is the charm, as we are now directing your attention to the Columbus Crew. The local MLS soccer club won 3-0 last night against the Chicago Fire in their return to MAPFRE Stadium, and Brett has all the info to get you up to speed on a potentially exciting unit in the capital city.
How would you feel about a Big Ten football season in January?
(Gene Ross, LGHL)
There has been a lot of talk about Ohio State playing football in January, but what do you think about the idea? I laid out Ryan Day’s plan for a shortened season in the winter, as well as how some of the logistical aspects would work in regards to cold weather and championship aspirations, among other things. Be sure to cast your vote as to what you think about the idea of Buckeye football to open up 2021.
From around the gridiron...
One of the biggest questions people have been asking in the wake of college football season cancellations is in regards to player eligibility. What happens to guys’ scholarships if they aren’t playing a season this fall, and will seniors be able to come back next year without losing their final year of eligibility? The NCAA answered those questions on Friday, as the board of directors approved a blanket waiver allowing fall sport athletes to keep their year of eligibility regardless of if they play their sport this season or not.
Like things worked with spring sports, while schools are required to uphold the players’ eligibility, they are not required to match the aid they are currently getting. For example, a current senior will be allowed to return to his team and play football next season, but the school can choose to reduce or not renew that player’s scholarship if they elect to do so. Scholarships that are given to returning seniors will not count against team scholarship limits.
This does, however, mean that if the ACC, Big 12 and SEC do play football this season, that their players will get to put a full year of experience under their belt without burning a year of eligibility. This could potentially put the Big Ten and Pac-12 at a severe disadvantage if they cannot find a way to play in the spring, as the underclassmen in the conferences that do play will get a free season, likely allowing freshman to play all year without having to worry about redshirt rules.
In addition, the NCAA basically outlawed any form of waiver that would require players to sign it in order to play while relieving their institution of liability.
The NCAA Board of Directors approved the blanket waiver saying that fall sport athletes can keep their year of eligibility no matter if they play this fall or spring or don't play at all, source tells @TheAthleticCFB.— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) August 21, 2020
NCAA Board of Directors adopted emergency temporary legislation specifying that an institution shall not require a student-athlete to waive legal rights regarding COVID-19 as a condition of athletics participation, @TheAthleticCFB has learned. This was expected.— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) August 21, 2020
On Friday, about 30 or so parents from players in the Big Ten traveled to Chicago to participate in a peaceful protest in response to the cancelled season. Led by Ohio State cornerback Shaun Wade’s father Randy Wade, the spirited group gathered outside of the conference offices mainly to ask for some transparency in regards to what led to the hasty decision, as well as to start the conversation as to what is next.
While the group realizes that the reality of re-instituting the fall season is all but lost, they want to make sure the Big Ten is doing everything in its power to come up with a plan to play football at some point in the near future, whether that be in the winter or the spring. The players and the parents are all still begging for answers, and while the decision to cancel may ultimately end up being the right one, there is no arguing that Kevin Warren and the Big Ten PR department have botched this whole thing at every possible turn.
Randy Wade on how he thinks this morning’s protest went. He also spoke to the crowd on hand for about nine minutes — full video of that address to come. pic.twitter.com/vlF3ljoXNi— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) August 21, 2020
We interrupt our regularly scheduled and frustrating Big Ten debacle programming to bring you this piece of breaking news: Chase Young is good at football.
Highest pass-rush win % against power five OLs last season:— PFF College (@PFF_College) August 21, 2020
1. Chase Young - 27%
2. Victor Dimukeje - 22%
3. Carlos Basham - 22%
4. Khalid Kareem - 21% pic.twitter.com/2GuREWIZrX
You know who else was good at football? Archie Griffin. Happy Birthday to a legend!
From everywhere else...
On Friday, Ohio State announced its first ever Excellence Award winners. One of the recipients of the seven different categories of awards was everyone’s favorite Associate AD, Jerry Emig, who was one of two winners of the Respect Award. Emig is now in his 19th year with the Buckeyes, and if you’ve ever had a run-in headman of Ohio State’s athletic communications, you’ll know it is an honor that is well deserved.
Also on Friday, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association voted in favor of moving forward with fall sports, including football. This means that Ohio State commits Kyle McCord and Marvin Harrison Jr. will get to play their senior seasons of high school football this fall. However, it also now means that while both Ohio and Pennsylvania high schools will be taking the field, Ohio State and Penn State will not.
The XFL is now officially under new ownership. Can you smell what the Rock is cooking?
The deal is official closed and “the keys” to the XFL have been handed over. I humbly accept and promise to put my callouses to hard work building our new brand. Congrats to my partners @DanyGarciaCo & #GerryCardinale and our sharp, hungry team. #XFLOwner #ForTheLoveOfFootball pic.twitter.com/ctwRlewxxA— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) August 21, 2020
While it is obviously correct to want to limit gatherings during a pandemic, it is going to be excruciatingly difficult to tell college kids to not be college kids.