Despite Ohio State head coach Ryan Day talking about the potential of looking at playing in the fall outside of the Big Ten, athletic director Gene Smith put those options to bed in a press release Wednesday.
“Ohio State has continued its communications with the Big Ten Conference office regarding a scenario to still play fall football games, but has now determined that this would not be an allowable opportunity for us to move toward,” Smith said in the statement. “We are 100 percent focused on supporting the health and safety and academic success of our student-athletes, and on working with the Big Ten to develop a spring plan for our sports as expeditiously as possible.”
This statement comes after Day told the media earlier Wednesday that there have been conversations between him and Smith about playing in the fall, and that the door wasn’t necessarily closed on the possibility.
“That’s a fluid situation. I know Gene and I talked again this morning at length about this,” Day said. “We are looking at everything.”
This was the second time that Day had spoken about the potential of leaving the Big Ten to play football in the fall. Previously, before the Big Ten had officially postponed all fall sports to the spring, Day said on ESPN2 that Ohio State would have to at least look at the opportunity.
“If that’s the only option at the time, we need to explore it, see if that’s something that we could possibly do,” Day said Monday. “Because if it is and that’s what’s best for our kids, then certainly we need to look at that and do it.”
Prior to his statement Wednesday, Smith also told NBC4 that there will not be any games played by Ohio State outside of the conference.
“We’ve been a member of the Big Ten for a long time We share the same values as our member institutions,” Smith said in a video with NBC4 Tuesday. “We’re in the Big Ten. We’re not looking to play someone else outside our conference. We have a contract that we’re obligated to with our television partners.”
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