Big Ten Parents Protest at Conference Headquarters over Football Postponement

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2020

The Big Ten logo decorates the grass at Beaver Stadium before an NCAA college football game between Penn State and Buffalo in State College, Pa., on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)
Barry Reeger/Associated Press

Randy Wade, the father of Ohio State cornerback Shaun Wade, organized a protest at the Big Ten office in Rosemont, Illinois, on Friday with the hope of giving players' parents a voice in the conference's decision to postpone the fall football season. 

Chris Bumbaca of USA Today reported the news, noting parents of players from Ohio State, Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin attended the protest even though Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren and his staff are working remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wade flew from his hometown of Jacksonville, Florida, to the Chicago area for the protest and started a "Let us play" chant:

Adam Rittenberg @ESPNRittenberg

Randy Wade and other Big Ten parents start the “Let us play!” chant outside the league office. https://t.co/kw6ixhkWcc

Dan Hope of Eleven Warriors posted an interview with Wade in which he said "I thought it was great" while thanking those who showed up even though it's a workday.

Dan Hope @Dan_Hope

Randy Wade on how he thinks this morning’s protest went. He also spoke to the crowd on hand for about nine minutes — full video of that address to come. https://t.co/vlF3ljoXNi

"The reason we're here is that we want to have conversations," Wade, said, per Bumbaca. "It's simple. We want to play in the fall, but regardless of the fall, we want to have conversations in the spring."

This comes after Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields posted a petition calling on the Big Ten to reinstate the season.

As of Friday, nearly 300,000 people have signed the petition.

Despite the efforts of players and parents, the Big Ten postponed all fall sports, including football, because of the pandemic. The Pac-12 did the same, although the ACC, Big 12 and SEC still plan on having the football season in the fall.

Warren, whose son will play for Mississippi State this year despite the pandemic, reaffirmed the conference's decision in an open letter published Wednesday.