COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio State University football coach Ryan Day says the Big Ten’s decision to allow sports to play again this fall validates all the work and sacrifice by the members of the football team.
“Our team is stronger is stronger now than August 11th, after going through this, and our young guys have seen what real leadership is,“ said Day.
Day was among several leaders with OSU who released statements in regards to the Big Ten’s decision to resume play Oct. 23-24.
“Today is a really good day for our football program, and especially for our players and their families. It’s the result of a lot of hard work throughout the conference, including Ohio State President Kristina M. Johnson and Gene Smith. We can’t thank them enough for their leadership and being steadfast advocates for us,” said Day.
Day has continuously advocated for a return to play for fall sports.
“I’m excited for the players, because they never lost faith, they never lost trust. Their behavior through this time has been excellent, and they never stopped fighting,” said Day during a Zoom teleconference with reporters. “Now they get the opportunity they ask for, which is to safely compete for a championship.
Day said his players will be ready to play, come Oct. 24.
“There’s going to be times, when we’ll have to play a lot of guys, and that’s OK,” said Day. “I think that sweet spot of eight or nine games is a good number, and keeping our guys healthy going into this season is going to be important.”
Day was asked about players Wyatt Davis and Shaun Wade, who have both said they were going to sit out this season to focus on the NFL draft. Their announcements were made before the Big Ten’s decision, Wednesday.
“If they want to play, I believe 1000% they should be allowed the opportunity to play,” said Day.
Wade has said he hasn’t signed with an agent, and could come back to play if he chose to do so.
Johnson and Smith, joined Day during the news conference to comment on the Big Ten’s decision.
“We are so excited for all of Buckeye Nation and enthusiastically support the decision of the Big Ten Conference leadership to proceed with a fall season. What we have always wanted is an opportunity for our student-athletes to compete in the sports they love,” Johnson said in a Zoom news conference this morning.
“I am extremely pleased and grateful the Big Ten’s Council of President and Chancellors has arrived at the decision to play football this fall. What makes me so confident that we’ve landed on the right decision is the process that we went through to get here, guided by the Big Ten Return to Competition Task Force. They did a thorough and exhaustive job with one guiding principle in mind: the safety and well-being of our student-athletes,” said Smith.