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Kristina Johnson, the president of Ohio State, spoke to NBC 4 in Columbus on Tuesday about the idea of playing football this Fall after President Trump tweeted about his call with Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren:
“It came out yesterday how I voted,” Johnson said. “That’s no secret. I voted not to postpone. I think that again the kinds of things we’ve learned about how we can have a “clean field” — players on the field that are negative that can play, that we can be playing football. We’re working through that process. We’re working with the Big Ten. We’re working with the commissioner to try to get in place those medical protocols where we feel like we can keep our students safe. That’s really what it comes down to.”
“We want to make sure our athletes get a shot, because they’ve worked really hard,” she continued. “They deserve a shot to play. At the same time we want to make sure they’re safe … I’m very hopeful that we’ll be playing this Fall. Fall is a long period of time. It goes till December 20th. I see that there’s a path to football.”
When in the Fall this happens is going to be paramount for the idea of Ohio State competing for a national title. While there could be some plausible scenario where they could make the playoffs if they’ve, say, played eight games whereas the SEC, ACC, and Big 12 teams have played 10, it’s hard to see a bigger disparity than that not being cause for torches and pitchforks in the South.
Thus, while Johnson’s words provide hope for those of us who want Big Ten football sooner than later — Ohio State is the most powerful football program in the conference — they’ll need to get a bit more aggressive in their actions to turn other schools to join Nebraska, Iowa, and them.
Here is how to contact the 11 Big Ten presidents and chancellors who voted against Fall football season.