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‘Our players want to know: why can't they play?’: Ryan Day continues push for football season

On August 11, the Big Ten announced they would be postponing all fall sports with a possibility of playing games in the Spring.
Ohio State head coach Ryan Day looks at the scoreboard during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Northwestern Friday, Oct. 18, 2019, in Evanston, Il. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Ohio State football head coach Ryan Day issued a statement on Thursday in his continued effort to ensure a season for his team following the Big Ten Conference’s decision to postpone fall sports.

On August 11, the Big Ten announced they would be postponing all fall sports with the possibility of playing games in the Spring.

Commissioner Kevin Warren defended the decision saying it would not be revisited just over a week later.

The decision from the Big Ten came on a vote of 11-3 by university leaders with Ohio State, Nebraska and Iowa voting against postponement.

In his statement, Day said he understand the conference’s decision over health and safety considerations over COVID-19, he said the communication of information following that decision has been “disappointing and often unclear”.

“However, we still have an opportunity to give our young men what they have worked so hard for: a chance to safely compete for a national championship this fall,” Day said.

Day says he couldn’t be prouder of how his team, medical personnel and university leaderships have stayed together during this time adding the Big Ten medical subcommittee has done an excellent job clearing the way for a return to play in October.

“These young men and their parents have asked so many questions that I do not have an answer to, but the one that hurts the most is ‘Why can these other teams and players play and we can’t?’” Day said.

Additionally, the PAC-12, MAC and Mountain West conferences have also delayed starting football.

The remaining conferences, including the SEC, ACC and Big 12 are going ahead with games.

You can read Day's full statement below:

"While I understand the Big Ten Conference’s decision to postpone the football season because of health and safety considerations, the communication of information from the Big Ten following the decision has been disappointing and often unclear. However, we still have an opportunity to give our young men what they have worked so hard for: a chance to safely compete for a national championship this fall.

I couldn't possibly be prouder of how this team, our medical personnel, athletic director and president have stayed together and managed through this extremely difficult time with so many unanswered questions. The Big Ten medical subcommittee has done an excellent job of creating a safe pathway toward returning to play in mid-October.

These young men and their parents have asked so many questions that I do not have an answer to, but the one that hurts the most is “Why can these other teams and players play and we can’t?” Duke is playing Notre Dame, and Clemson is playing Wake Forest this weekend.

Our players want to know: why can't they play?"