The parents of Ohio State’s football players are not happy with the Big Ten’s decision to postpone the fall season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Just one day after the parents of Iowa football players delivered a letter to the Big Ten offices in a call for transparency regarding the decision, the Football Parents at Ohio State, or FPAOS, wrote a letter to Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren in a similar vein.
— FPAOS Family Unit (@fpaos_board) August 15, 2020
During an Aug. 12 teleconference, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day applauded the players and their parents for speaking up in their support of a season.
“From the get-go on this, I thought the voices of our players and our parents were very, very important,” Day said. “It’s one thing for a coach to sit up and say that this is safe and this is how we’re doing things and this is how our players feel. It’s another thing to have our players and our parents speak up for what they feel.
“And I thought that their voices were strong and it was just hard for me to look them in the eye, after everything that’s been done, and we’re still not playing football. Because there’s been a lot of sacrifices made by a lot of people, parents, players. And again, to look them in the eye and show them that, right now, we’ve got nothing to show for that, that’s not an easy call.”
The FPAOS came together to write a letter to Warren in a call for transparency.
The entire letter from the FPAOS is posted here:
“August 15, 2020
Dear Big Ten Commissioner,
As parents of the athletes in The Ohio State University football program, we are asking you to reconsider the decision of the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors to cancel fall sports competition. In a recent statement issued by the league on August 11, The Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Disease and the Big Ten Sports Committee cited ongoing health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic as the impetus for cancelling the season. However, as we have seen recently, students are returning to campus to begin their academic pursuits for the fall semester. By implementing safety protocols and procedures it has been deemed safe enough for them to do so. We believe that the protocols put in place by Ohio State Athletics have provided an extremely safe environment for our players to prepare for the season. Due to the safety protocols put in place, our students are safer in the program than the other students who are already returning to campus.
All teams have the best interests in preserving the health and welfare of their student athletes. The coaching staff, Athletic Director and medical staff at The Ohio State University have provided weekly health and safety updates to both players and parents. We ask for the same transparency in the decision-making process by the Big Ten Commissioner and Council of Presidents and Chancellors regarding the cancellation of the August 5th ten-game, conference-only football schedule.
We believe the August 11th decision was made in haste. As we have continued to learn nationally about COVID-19, our understanding and protocols in dealing with this virus have also continued to evolve. In the best interests of our players, we strongly believe that the Big Ten should re-evaluate its decision. Additional time and consideration provided by deferring the decision would allow for more data to be analyzed and evaluated. It would also allow the players to continue to safely prepare and train for a fall season. In accordance with the NCAA statement, players who are uncomfortable with the protocols in place will continue to be given the opportunity to opt out and will still have their scholarship honored.
Football is a game of risk. Our sons work extremely hard for the opportunity to play and fully understand the risks involved when they step on the field. Their personal decisions should be acknowledged and honored to give them the opportunity to compete as athletes in the game they love.
In summary, we are requesting your immediate attention and response to the following:
- Reinstate the August 5th game schedule. In the event the fall season is deemed not to be in the best interests of the athletes, provide a detailed plan for an alternate season.
- Provide full transparency to the coaches, players, and parents regarding the data used to make your decision. Have a meeting with representatives that include players, parents, and coaches.
- Big Ten Commissioner to participate in a Zoom call with senior players and parents
- Allow teams who are prepared to play, to play. Those teams who are not prepared to play should be given the opportunity to forfeit or opt out until next season.
- Provide a detailed action plan including standard protocols and safety practices for ALL teams.
- Provide us with a response no later than August 19th.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
The Football Parents Association of Ohio State (FPAOS)”
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