Ohio State parents respond to claim by Big Ten commissioner that letter was 'manufactured'

Joey Kaufman
Buckeye Xtra
Amanda Babb, step-mother of Ohio State football player Kamryn Babb and president of Ohio State Football Parents Association, speaks to fans during a rally organized by parents of OSU football players outside of Ohio Stadium on Aug. 29, 2020.

The parents group representing Ohio State football players responded on Friday to recently released text messages that show Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren alleged their letter in response to the initial cancellation of the fall season had been “manufactured.”

In a letter, the Football Parent Association of Ohio State said it was “disheartening” to read Warren’s characterization of their effort.

“It is important to remember our request was simply a transparent process; a structured discussion with the parents to discuss concerns; and information concerning the process,” the letter continued.   

Along with advocating in August for a fall season to be reinstated, the group requested a Zoom meeting with Warren to raise some of their concerns.

Warren’s claim about their letter from August was included among the emails and text messages released by Ohio State on Wednesday in response to public records requests made by The Dispatch and other news outlets.

Then-president-elect Kristina M. Johnson texted athletic director Gene Smith on Aug. 15, relaying Warren’s comments.

“Kevin is alleging that the letter is being manufactured,” she wrote. “The upcoming letter from OSU parents — claims it is being manufactured — I am not happy pretty serious charge IMHO.”

Smith expressed similar displeasure in response.

“Wow, how would he know,” he replied, “our parents have a formal organization with a president, Vice President etc… they are an organized group… I am sure ours is genuine.”

Included in Friday’s response, the parents said Warren’s reported comments had reinforced their “lack of confidence in the Big Ten Conference leadership.”

They added they were proud of Ohio State, along with Johnson, Smith and coach Ryan Day, who pushed for a season to be held last fall and helped it to be restarted in October.

The Buckeyes ultimately played eight games and reached the College Football Playoff final.

The recent letter concluded, "To Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren, Reflect, Adjust, Communicate, and Do Better."

jkaufman@dispatch.com

@joeyrkaufman