The last time that Ohio State Buckeyes head football coach Ryan Day tweeted about his team in any substantive terms was 24 days ago when he praised quarterback Justin Fields’ leadership and love of his teammates. Since then, it’s just been a couple of retweets and putting a “BIA” on a quote-tweet from Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson praising Damon Arnette in Las Vegas Raiders training camp.
That all changed on Thursday afternoon, however, as he not only came out in favor of playing far earlier than the January start he initially proposed, but Day also broke the news that “The Big Ten medical subcommittee has done an excellent job of creating a safe pathway toward returning to play in mid-October.”
This is a major statement and a line in the sand for the normally mild-mannered Day. It also comes shortly after a reported phone call between Big Ten head coaches and conference commissioner Kevin Warren.
September 10, 2020
We will get into this in depth and much more in today’s edition of Buckeye Bits.
From around Land-Grant Holy Land...
Is Ohio State finished recruiting one of their biggest targets?
Tia Johnston, LGHL
Unfortunately, the writing is on the wall that the Buckeyes probably won’t be getting a commitment from Tristan Leigh.
12-for-12: Ohio State’s Perfect Season - Game 3 vs. Oregon
Gene Ross, LGHL
Gene’s look back to this game nearly 11 years ago is about as good of a substitute for what might have been happening this weekend in a parallel universe as you can possibly get.
Ohio State-Oregon: The game that wasn’t meant to be
Brett Ludwiczak, LGHL
Brett also looks at what might have been in Eugene on Saturday. While we know that there’s no way to know if the wildfires currently engulfing Oregon would have happened had the pandemic not struck first, it is still sobering to look at how snakebitten this specific game has been from an Ohio State perspective.
From around the gridiron...
I am naturally pragmatic, err-on-the-side-of-caution type of guy. I don’t know what that says about my age, upbringing, or priorities, but like Ryan Day, I too understand the concerns that the Big Ten has/had about the health and safety considerations involved with playing football this fall.
Anyone who is not concerned about the health of the players, coaches, staff, officials, and everyone involved in making college football happen doesn’t deserve to be acknowledged in this conversation at all. But, in addition to being pragmatic, I’m also fairly optimistic when it comes to the bulk of humanity.
Therefore, I’m assuming that the safety of all involved is the utmost foundation of all opinions from nearly every person expressing their opinion about whether college football players should take to the field this fall or not.
So, now that we’ve gotten that established, we have to talk about the basic failings of the B1G. Whether we like it or not, there has always been an air of superiority (both intellectual and moral) that comes from the Big Ten office — and full disclosure, I worked for the B1G office more than a decade and a half ago, so I know first hand.
Normally this puts the league on the right side of most issues; first to use replay, first to have a network, embraced more stringent concussion protocol, etc. However, in this perfect shit storm of a situation, that same confidence and foresight have been reduced to their basest forms: arrogance and self-righteousness.
Correspondence with Kevin Warren: The Fight for Answers in the Big Ten
Keaton Maisano, Jack Emerson, The Lantern
As The Ohio State student newspaper chronicles in the above-linked article, in the month since the conference presidents voted to cancel the B1G fall football season, it has been a battle for teams and athletic departments to get information about either the decision or what’s supposed to come next.
That frustration was also echoed earlier on Thursday when Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin voiced his concerns on national radio:
James Franklin had this to say about the Big Ten on ESPN Radio: "We just haven’t gotten great communication from the beginning. We’ve never really been told or understood why the season was shut down in the first place. And there hasn’t been a whole lot of communication since."— Kyle Rowland (@KyleRowland) September 10, 2020
Obviously, Franklin and/or his athletic director Sandy Barbour could have gotten at least some information from their university president Eric. J. Barron, especially on the factors that played into the decision not to play.
But, that wouldn’t have done much for the football-specific questions being asked, like how and how often teams can practice, when games are projected to resume, and so on. Those should have been answered by the Big Ten and it should have been done almost immediately.
Yes, we all understand that in the world in which we are currently living anything and everything is likely to change, but that is no excuse for the conference to go radio silent, leaving their most important stakeholders with no direction or clarity.
That lack of communication was put into an even more interesting context when Day revealed that the B1G’s committee working on getting games back on the field safely actually has a plan than will allow the league’s teams to play at the earliest possible date — which, given the news that no re-vote will happen until at least Sunday, would be Oct. 17.
If the league presidents vote to keep the season on hold for the foreseeable future, Ryan Day and Ohio State — and all of the Big Ten players and coaches — deserve specific answers to Day’s parting question, “Our players want to know: why can’t they play?”
Urban Meyer on being a student-athlete.
.@CoachUrbanMeyer speaking some truths. pic.twitter.com/O3JugxXlBH— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) September 10, 2020
Despite Meyer’s faults — and we here at LGHL have been as outspoken about them as anyone else in the OSU blogosphere — one thing that he has never wavered on is his commitment to protecting student-athletes. Now, I fully believe that DI football players, especially those at Power 5 schools, are every bit employees of the athletic department and deserve the rights and compensation that their status should afford.
But, that does not undermine the reality that they are students, most of whom care deeply about the opportunity to pursue a degree. While they absolutely should also be compensated for the use of their name, image, and likeness, we shouldn’t undervalue the importance of the opportunities being a student-athlete provides.
Luke Fickell embraces Bearcats’ chance as Ohio’s last team standing in 2020
Bill Bender, Sporting News
I know most Ohio State fans haven’t yet given up hope that the Buckeyes will play this fall. But, if they don’t, I am 100 percent going to jump on the Bearcat bandwagon. Luke Fickell will always be a Buckeye at heart, and I’m sure as hell not gonna root for Clemson or a team from the SEC. So, I might as well go all-in with an underdog from the Buckeye state.
Or I guess I could finally pay attention to the NFL.
Only @AlabamaFTBL and @OhioStateFB have 50+ players on NFL active rosters this season pic.twitter.com/qYSiRdLHzP— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 10, 2020
From around the hardwood...
Men’s basketball player C.J. Walker and football running back Master Teague III have been selected to the Ohio State Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Meet the newest members of the @SAAC_OSU!— Ohio State Buckeyes (@OhioStAthletics) September 10, 2020
➕ https://t.co/IJqz9bQ4FX | #GoBuckeyes pic.twitter.com/FdYu0C7zd5
From everywhere else...
Another season put on ice... too soon?
The eleven Division I men’s and women’s ice hockey conferences represented by the HCA announced that the start of the 2020-21 Division I college hockey season will be delayed due to the impact of COVID-19. | https://t.co/CZ4i0baT6f— Big Ten Hockey (@B1GHockey) September 10, 2020
#B1GHockey x #NCAAHockey x #UnitedAsOne pic.twitter.com/gIcTL7LKOJ
And now for something completely different...
Holy am I old!?!?!?
30 years ago today, 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' premiered.— Aaron Dodson (@aardodson) September 10, 2020
In celebration of the anniversary, @NickDePaula and I teamed up to rank the top 30 pairs of sneakers in the series' history.
Full ranking for @TheUndefeated (illustrations by Jeremy Simches): https://t.co/vpx6UIBPKj pic.twitter.com/wfESp0R9w1