Ohio State Athletes: 'Big Ten Unity Proposal' on COVID-19 Doesn't Represent Us

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 7, 2020

Ohio State players huddle in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Navy in Baltimore, Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

Ohio State student-athletes released a statement Friday saying the "Big Ten Unity Proposal" posted Wednesday on The Players' Tribune in coordination with the College Athlete Unity organization isn't a direct representation of their views. 

Jonathon Cooper, a member of OSU's football team, posted the Buckeyes' full statement:

The unity proposal, which was authored by "Players of the Big Ten" and said it represented "over 1,000 Big Ten football players," was a 24-point plan focused on safety protocols and player protections if fall sports occur in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"We have started a dialogue in good faith with the Big Ten and hope that the NCAA will follow suit," the players said. "Given the short time frame, and with our season at stake, this conversation must happen now."

It came after the Big Ten announced its plans for the college football season, which is set to feature a 10-game, conference-only schedule beginning in early September.

The NCAA Board of Governors also laid out a set of guidelines for conferences to follow to decide whether to move forward with fall sports, which addressed some of the concerns raised by the Big Ten post and a similar one Sunday from Pac-12 players on The Players' Tribune.

A final decision about fall sports is due to the NCAA by Aug. 21. Any sport in which more than 50 percent of eligible teams cancel their season won't award a national title this season.

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The Buckeyes' football team was ranked No. 2 in the country in the preseason USA Today Amway Coaches Poll released Thursday. They received 17 first-place votes and ranked behind only Clemson.

Ohio State is scheduled to open the season Sept. 3 on the road against Illinois if the season moves forward.