COLUMBUS (WCMH) – After the back and forth earlier this year as to whether there would be a Big Ten football season, fans are hoping both for a quick recovery for Ohio State University head football coach Ryan Day, but also a limited impact on the team.
As new broke Friday that Day had tested positive for COVID-19, fans responded with mixed emotions.
Later Friday night, OSU canceled Saturday’s game against the University of Illinois due to an increase in positive COVID-19 test results among the football program.
Some, like OSU student-athlete Colin Roy, were shocked.
“We’re gone through all the protocols and precautions that have been required of the football team as well,” Roy, a swimmer, said. “It’s pretty crazy to hear that he, of all people, is testing positive.”
Others weren’t as surprised considering the recent surge in cases both in the state and across the country.
“I wish him well and I wish all those people who got coronavirus well, but on the other hand, I’d like to place blame on the university administration for pushing sports to come back and, really, opening the university at all,” said Coco Smith, of Columbus.
Some fans worry about the impact the positive tests could have on the team, a team that fought hard to be able to play despite the pandemic.
“You’ve got kids who all they’ve known is football their whole life and they’ve been training every single day for this moment and to know that this virus can take their dreams and everything that they’ve known and worked so hard for and set them back?,” asked OSU fan Savannah Stockwell. “It’s beyond me. and I definitely feel for a lot of them right now because it’s a huge decision, whether to play.”
Others believe the news could also give the Buckeyes an extra boost to finish the season strong.
“I don’t think it’ll effect them,” said OSU fan Benita Richards. “These guys are great, they’re a great team. They’ve got a great coaching staff. I think these kids are going to go out there and they’re going to play hard. They’re going to play hard for their coach.”
“It’s one thing for a coach to test positive, but as long as the team is being safe and doing everything they can, I’m optimistic,” Richards added.
Fans also said that if there is a bright spot to Day’s diagnosis, it’s the fact that this season’s schedule is a little off this year.
Any other year, the Buckeyes would be facing Michigan this Saturday, but that game is still two weeks away.