Ohio State Parents Express Frustrations, Hope for Answers from Big Ten
The Buckeye football parents have largely come to terms with the fact that there isn't going to be a fall season. But that doesn't mean they've given up fighting for what they think is right - an explanation from the conference (at a minimum) and transparency is the decision-making process to cancel the season.
Just as he did last Friday in Rosemont, Illinois at the Big Ten Conference headquarters, Shaun Wade's father Randy organized a rally on Saturday at the Rotunda outside Ohio Stadium.
Wade's message was all about not taking the easy way out in life. He gave several examples of Shaun continuing to push through some challenging situations when he was younger and how he never "threw in the towel." Some people have questioned why the father of a likely first round NFL Draft pick is fighting so hard for a season, and Randy feels that he's just doing what he thinks is right.
“We know Ohio State did everything they could, but we’d like to be a catalyst for these other schools,” Wade said. “So if we can talk to our president, they should be able to talk to their president, because there’s a lack of transparency going on.”
"I'm just a dad, fighting for his son to play football safely," Wade told BuckeyesNow. “The fact that I’m just a parent of a player, I’m nobody, and Buckeye fans are supporting me like this and want to take pictures with me and all this kind of stuff, it shows how much they love Buckeye football, how much they want a season, how much they got the backs of these kids.”
"I hope the message with our efforts is that it only takes one person to start something," he continued. "I think the collective nature of the Big Ten parents and the fans have really made this whole thing happen. When you have problems, you can come together and create change."
Ohio State wide receiver Kamryn Babb's stepmother, Amanda, is the president of the Football Parents at Ohio State (FPAOS). She was also instrumental in organizing Saturday's protest and has been vocal during a frustrating time. We asked her after the rally what else she has done in her life that's prepared her to lead a group through something like this.
"Well I didn't know this was going to be part of my job (as she laughs)," Babb told BuckeyesNow. "I've always loved football and been very active in different youth programs in St. Louis. I've been a business manager and helped coach football teams, including other teams that Kamryn hasn't participated on. Part of my job is that I lead a pretty large team, so that's all helped me as I've taken on some leadership responsibilities with this."
During her address to the crowd, Babb went to bat for the Buckeyes by asking for the Big Ten to tell the teams and the parents why they canceled the season.
“We think that the commissioner and the presidents of the universities owe it to us as parents, they owe it to you as fans, they owe it to the players, that’s what we want,” Babb said. “We want that communication. Ultimately, we want to play. We should be given that opportunity to compete in the College Football Playoff, and to compete for a national championship. I think we have the best team out there.”
Gee Scott Sr. is the father of Gee Scott Jr., a freshman wide receiver from Seattle, Wash. Scott Sr. was emotional while addressing the crowd.
“Time is more important than money," Scott said. "What we’re finding out now right now, we are finding out about Buckeye nation. And the truth is Buckeye nation is hurting. The United States of America is hurting. Sometimes you ain’t angry you just hurt. So you lash out and you say things. The real world is not social media, the real world is right here."
“I always believe in a call to action. And the call to action is this: For the commissioner and the Big Ten … help us all understand. Help us understand why it is okay for you and your family, Mr. Warren, to decide if your kid plays football,but it is not okay for me and our parents to decide if our kids play football.
“Help us understand. Help us understand why it is that you came to us four days after the schedule was released, you yanked the season, and you did not say, ‘this is what you need to do.’ Because true leadership tells you what happened, why it happened, and what we need to do better going forward.