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Buckeye Bits: Fall camp begins Thursday, Big Ten players’ unity group, more

All of the latest Ohio State news from around the beat and beyond.

Ohio State v Michigan Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas football season! The Big Ten announced its conference-only schedule and medical protocols for the 2020 season, the NCAA published a list of mandates that actually benefit the players, Big Ten players formed a unity group and are asking for more safety measures, and Harbaugh just found himself a spot front and center on Ohio State’s bulletin board. Let’s get into it!

From around Land-Grant Holy Land...

Sleepers of the Room: Plenty of Ohio State defensive linemen are ready for their shot

Brett Ludwiczak, LGHL

Next up on our series focused on highlighting the under the radar guys, Brett takes a look at the defensive linemen, who are tasked with replacing three starters this season. Zach Harrison, Jonathon Cooper and Tyreke Smith have been getting most of the limelight, but there are also a few sleepers who might surprise you.

Ohio State, Michigan in October, Big Ten releases 2020 conference-only schedule

Matt Tamanini, LGHL

The Big Ten schedule is finally here! And it’s... not good!

24 Club: Wes Fesler coached OSU to its first Rose Bowl win

Jim Baird, LGHL

The next coach in our 24 Club series is Wes Fesler— the first Ohio State head coach to win a Rose Bowl, but who struggled with consistency during his four years in Columbus. He resigned due to the pressure that the position holds, and I bet ya know the guy who took his place.

From around the gridiron...

After months of waiting, we will finally get to see Justin Fields throw a football on Sept. 19.

Ohio State will kick the season off on Thursday, Sept. 3 in Champaign, Illinois. Plus, for the first time since 1933, Ohio State will play Michigan in October. You probably know how we at LGHL feel about this...

For more on the schedule deets, Dan Hope of Eleven Warriors has you covered.

Fall camp begins Aug. 6.

Since Ohio State is now scheduled for a Sept. 3 start-date, the team will be back practicing at full speed for the first time in five months starting Thursday, one day earlier than originally planned.

COVID-19 medical protocols for Big Ten conference include twice-weekly testing, sharing positive test results with opponents, 14-day quarantines for positive tests

Zack Carpenter, Eleven Warriors

Along with the 2020 football schedule, the Big Ten also announced its COVID-19 medical protocols for the season. Here’s a bullet-point version:

  • Twice-weekly testing
  • Symptoms questionnaire prior to entering the athletics facilities
  • The results of all positive tests must be shared with that week’s upcoming opponent, as well as the previous opponent if applicable.
  • Those who test positive and anyone who came within close contact of those who test positive must quarantine for 14 days

Big Ten players follow Pac-12, form unity group to address concerns

Mark Schlabach, ESPN

Three days after players from the Pac-12 released a list of demands for returning to play this season, Big Ten players issued a “unity proposal” of their own through College Athlete Unity and The Players Tribune.

Unlike the Pac-12’s demands however, the Big Ten players are not threatening to opt out of the season, nor are they asking to get paid. Rather, they just want both the NCAA and the Big Ten to implement more safety guidelines/rules for players in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among other things, the players have asked for a ban on the use of COVID-19 liability waivers, an automatic medical redshirt for any player who misses games due to a positive test, and coverage for all out-of-pocket medical expenses related to COVID-19.

In response to the demands, Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren said he would “spend some time with the letter” and communicate with the players.

The NCAA caring about its student-athletes????

The NCAA Board of Governors published a list of guidelines for its member schools on Wednesday, including a mandate that says all schools must honor scholarships for any athletes who choose to opt out due to COVID-19 concerns and that they must cover all student-athletes’ medical expenses related to COVID-19.

Also, Boards of Directors for each division in the NCAA must determine by Aug. 21 whether or not they will have a fall sports season.

Hang 100 on ‘em

Apparently there was a bit of Ryan Day/Jim Harbaugh drama in the Big Ten head coaches’ teleconference on Tuesday. Allegedly, Harbaugh called Day out for cheating, Day told him to mind his beeswax, and then went and told his team that “the conference better have a mercy rule, or the Buckeyes are going to hang 100 points on the Wolverines.”

Honestly, why does Harbaugh do this to himself?

Where you can watch Day terrorize TTUN.

Guys, the only goal for this season is to #MakeItToMichigan. Anything past The Game is just a bonus.

From everywhere else...

Down goes the first FBS team.

UConn has cancelled its 2020 football season, becoming the first top-level NCAA team to do so. The school’s athletic director David Benedict said that “the safety challenges created by COVID-19 place our football student-athletes at an unacceptable level of risk.”

Also not participating in this year’s football season:

Penn State stand out linebacker Micah Parsons is expected to opt out of the 2020 season to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft, where he will likely be a top-10 pick. Very bad news for Penn State. Very good news for the Buckeyes.

Speaking of which, Justin Fields and Shaun Wade, who are also projected to come off the board early in the 2021 Draft, said in a teleconference on Tuesday that they are not considering opting out of the season. Love that for us.

Michigan State DE Jacub Panasiuk opts out of season due to coronavirus concerns

Matt Wenzel,

The only returning starter on the Spartans’ defensive line this year, Jacub Panasiuk, has also opted out of the season, saying he “cannot risk his health and safety in order to play football.” He plans on taking a redshirt and returning for his senior season.

Panasiuk has made 81 tackles, including 18.5 for a loss, eight sacks and four forced fumbles in 38 career games. Last season, he posted career-highs of 34 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss and five sacks. Not great for Michigan State.