Ohio State will not pursue fall football, AD Gene Smith says

Bill Rabinowitz
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said Wednesday that the Buckeyes have abandoned any ideas about playing football this fall.

Ohio State will not attempt to play football this fall, athletic director Gene Smith said Wednesday evening.

Earlier Wednesday, in a conference call with reporters, OSU coach Ryan Day floated the idea about possibly playing other Big Ten schools that would have preferred a delay of the 2020 season instead of the cancellation that the conference voted to do on Tuesday.

Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh, Nebraska’s Scott Frost and Penn State’s James Franklin were among the coaches who expressed disappointment with the Big Ten’s decision.

“That’s a fluid situation,” Day said Wednesday afternoon. “We’re still exploring all those options.”

But hours later, Smith doused it after consulting with the Big Ten.

“Ohio State has continued its communications with the Big Ten Conference regarding a scenario to still play fall football games,” Smith said in a statement, “but has now determined that this would not be an allowable opportunity for us to move forward. We are 100 percent focused on supporting the health and safety and academic success of our student-athletes and on working with the Big Ten to develop a spring plan for our sports as expeditiously as possible.”

Day said he wanted a “spring” season to begin in early January to provide enough of a gap between that and the regular 2021 season.