With the Ohio State football players watching the start of Power Five play from their couches, head coach Ryan Day spoke up in support of a Big Ten season on ESPN’s College GameDay.
Day joined Penn State head coach James Franklin, Stanford head coach David Shaw and Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham to converse with ESPN’s Rece Davis about what the future holds for the Big Ten and Pac-12 this fall.
In order to still be in consideration for a spot in the College Football Playoff with his “once-in-a-lifetime team,” Day indicated that the conferences are running out of time in regard to a start date.
“I don’t know if there’s an exact date, but certainly I think we need to try to get going by mid-October to get into the conversations in the CFP,” Day said. “But again, it’s first things first: Let’s just make sure that we can figure out a way to do this safely and then we’ll tackle that next.”
Perhaps more than anything, Day continued to stand up for his players, calling to attention the fact that they have done everything asked of them yet find themselves watching others play ball while they have been prohibited.
“And we understand that there have been hundreds of thousands of people who have lost their lives and lost loved ones during this time, and by no means comparing what they’ve been through to what we’ve been through. But it has been very difficult for our players. They’re having a tough time during this last month and certainly these last couple weeks understanding how this all fits for them.
“They’ve done everything we’ve asked and to see other teams playing, that’s really where they are having the most difficult time. So, we’re just really focusing on our players, our leadership, and trying to take it one day at a time.”
Day agreed with Franklin, who said the Big Ten should get credit for the decision they made in a lot of ways, but his biggest qualm with the conference was the lack of transparency in communicating why it made its decision. Day was asked what he would need to hear from the conference in order to accept its potential decision to hold off on football this fall.
“We’re always going to defer to our medical experts and personnel,” Day said. “So, we’ll just defer to their decisions and their conversations. But, again, I think that there’s people around the country – certainly people within our footprint – people who have the same goals, the same values that the Big Ten has, who have found a safe way to play football. In fact, they are doing it this weekend.
“I think a lot has changed, too. Every day it changes. It’s changed a lot in two weeks. It changes every day. And so, we’re learning more and more every day and we’re just looking forward to seeing what’s next.”
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