COLUMBUS — The hopes for a fall football season at Ohio State were taken away by the Big Ten on Tuesday.
But that doesn’t mean the situation regarding football is anywhere near over for the Buckeyes. Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan and Nebraska have all been vocal about wanting to play — and pursuing any option to do it.
So to say the door is closed on any type of games or scrimmages would be wrong. The Buckeyes are doing what they can to find any path forward to live action this fall.
“That’s a fluid situation,” Ohio State coach Ryan Day said during his Wednesday press conference. “[Ohio State athletic director] Gene [Smith] and I talked again this morning at length about this. We’re still exploring all those options. Yesterday, you guys kind of grabbed him walking out of the facility, maybe at a bad time. But this thing is moving, it’s changing. And we are looking at everything.
“We’re trying to explore every option possible. We owe it to our kids to do that. I can’t get into specifics because there are a lot of unknowns, but we’re asking all the questions and we’re pushing the envelop as much as we can. Making sure that it’s safe to do so, but we’ve got to make sure we turn over every stone.”
Day, referencing athletic director Gene Smith’s comments about sticking with the Big Ten’s decision and looking forward to the spring, is ready to take the field. His players are, too. The Buckeyes are going to do what it takes to get on the field.
But will they be able to find a way?
“Not leaving [the Big Ten] — that’s not realistic,” Smith said after leaving the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Tuesday “We’ve been a member of the Big Ten for a long time, we share the same values as our member institutions. We all know our history and tradition, I don’t need to give you that speech. We’re in the Big Ten, we’re not looking to play someone else outside of our conference, we have a contract that we are obligated to with our television partners, so that’s not happening.
“We’re mentally moving and shifting to the spring as an option.”
Day and the Buckeyes don’t just have their sights set on a spring season. They’re ready to explore every option possible.
What those options are remains to be seen. And any hope for an organized Big Ten season in the fall is gone.
But the Buckeyes are going to what they can to be on the field sooner rather than later.