” I’m actually concerned. I am really worried,” Smith stated.
Gene Smith( @OSU_AD) is a positive male
. He wasn’t so positive today. He joins @BTNDaveRevsine to talk about his concern that there might not be a football season. pic.twitter.com/aUn7kt4QiK
Later Thursday afternoon, throughout an interview with BTN, Smith was even more blunt about the truth that Ohio State’s 2020 football season is in severe jeopardy.
July 9, 2020 Smith’s waning optimism about Ohio State playing football this fall comes as the outcome of continuing spikes in COVID-19 cases around the nation. As of Wednesday, day-to-day COVID-19 cases had increased over the past two weeks in 45 states, whereas the variety of reported cases was decreasing in lots of states 2 months back. Ohio State has also seen the variety of positive COVID-19 cases increase within its own professional athlete population, which led OSU to pause voluntary workouts for athletes on Wednesday.
In a teleconference with press reporters on Thursday simply minutes after the Big Ten announced that its fall sports teams would not play any non-conference video games this upcoming season, Smith made it clear he no longer had the same level of confidence about Ohio State playing any football this season at all.
When Gene Smith formerly held a teleconference with press reporters on May 20, the Ohio State athletic director said he was” meticulously positive” that the nation’s fight with the COVID-19 pandemic would get to a point that ultimately, Ohio State and other college football groups around the country would be able to play their seasons as arranged this fall.
” I can’t reiterate enough the reality that we may not play,” Smith said. “We simply may not. And I believe that individuals need to understand that.”
” I believe our governor (Mike DeWine has) done an extraordinary job. He had us on a great trajectory downward. And we simply didn’t react to opportunities that were offered to us. Individuals require to follow the protocols and offer our kids a possibility to contend.”
Like football coach Ryan Day also did on Thursday, Smith made a plea for individuals around the country to do their part and follow advised procedures to restrict the spread of COVID-19, which he thinks have not been taken seriously enough throughout the United States.
” When you look at the behavior of our nation and you think about that in May, we were on a downward trajectory with cases and our hospitals were developing opportunities for people to come back and get the care that they required beyond COVID and elective surgeries and things of that nature, and now, we’re if not the worst worldwide, among the worst on the planet,” Smith stated. “So I’m worried about where we are simply across the board relative to management of the pandemic as people.
” I just want to offer our kids a chance to play,” Smith stated. “So I’m more worried about the regular season right now. And if we’re blessed to have a postseason, whatever that looks like, fantastic. Right now, I would love to have Wyatt Davis and Josh Myers to have a chance to have a season. And so (competitive equity) was an issue of mine at the beginning, however it’s no longer a concern. Routine season’s my issue.”
” First and foremost, we’re gon na follow the lead of our medical professionals. Their advice has been great for us as we move through this procedure,” Smith stated. “So we’ll simply have to see and wait how our different environments handle the pandemic, and take their advice as we move on.”
Back in May, Smith stated he hoped there would be national guidelines in location to ensure competitive equity amongst conferences in regards to receiving postseason competitors.
” I can’t reiterate enough the truth that we may not play. We just might not.
Ultimately, Smith states Ohio State will prioritize the health and wellness of its student-athletes above all else, which means COVID-19 should begin to be consisted of if the Buckeyes are going to play sports this fall.
Smith likewise said he does not know when Ohio State will be able to resume full-team practices, though the NCAA has actually told football teams they should be able to practice for at least 4 weeks before their first video game. The NCAA’s Division I Council has authorized a preseason practice plan for college football teams playing their very first games on Sept. 5 to start walk-through practices on July 24, but it has yet to be identified when the Big Ten’s conference football schedule will start if the season is permitted to gain ground.
” You actually have to go day-by-day, week-by-week,” Smith said when asked if he thought Ohio State might still possibly begin practices on July 24. “So we got ta see where things go next week throughout the country and in your area, and then we have to make a decision on what week we’re gon na begin relative to contests.
Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren offered a comparable belief on Thursday, stating that the conference is depending on its Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases in addition to medical specialists from each Big Ten school, however that progress must be produced fall sports to gain ground even with conference-only schedules.
Now, however, Smith states that’s no longer something he’s anxious about. He’s just concerned about whether or not Ohio State will have the ability to play regular-season games, not if the College Football Playoff or other postseason competitors will continue as arranged.
July 9, 2020 Warren said the Big Ten is currently dealing with developing consistent screening protocols for the conference, however Smith said he did not understand whether there would be a variety of positive COVID-19 tests that would ultimately be acceptable for teams to still play games this fall.
” This is not a fait accompli that we’re going to have sports in the fall,” Warren stated throughout an interview on BTN. “We might not have sports in the fall. We might not have a college football season.”
” Two months back, I was cautiously positive. However I’ve lost that. To me, if we have fans in the stands, it will be CDC standards and we’ll just have to figure out what those numbers are. A lot less than what I thought,” Smith stated. “I wish to restate: If we have fans in the stands. I want everybody to be sensible here. Since that’s a genuine concern.”
Smith had also revealed hope in May that Ohio Stadium could host as numerous as 40,000 to 50,000 fans for football video games this fall if CDC standards on physical distancing were relaxed. At this moment, nevertheless, Smith recognizes that is no longer a reasonable expectation and that Ohio State– now targeting a capability of around 20,000 fans for football games, if that– will be fortunate if it’s able to host any variety of fans at games.
Ohio State and the rest of the Big Ten are still wishing to play football this fall, which is why they made the decision to concentrate on conference video games just, which could be more workable than playing opponents from all over the nation whose conferences could have different procedures. It’s why the Big Ten hasn’t yet talked in great detail about the possibility of moving football season to spring, Smith said, as the conference is concentrating on attempting to make a fall season take place first.
” Obviously we require the virus to be managed in a different way than it is now,” Smith said. “So we simply need to wait and see and determine if we can really hold practice and ultimately contests the way we need to secure kids.”
Realistically, though, there’s a lot that still needs to happen over the next 2 months to get to a point where Ohio State and the rest of the Big Ten will feel comfy gaining ground with fall sports. Thursday’s announcement was not a verification that the Big Ten will have fun with a modified schedule this fall, but a step that Smith and other conference leaders hope will ultimately allow them to do so.
” I can’t reiterate enough the truth that we may not play,” Smith said. Smith’s waning optimism about Ohio State playing football this fall comes as the outcome of continuing spikes in COVID-19 cases around the nation. Smith likewise stated he does not understand when Ohio State will be able to resume full-team practices, though the NCAA has actually told football teams they should be able to practice for at least 4 weeks before their very first video game.” You actually have to go day-by-day, week-by-week,” Smith stated when asked if he thought Ohio State could still potentially start practices on July 24.” I simply want to give our kids a chance to play,” Smith stated.