Ohio State football was plunged into a complicated web of problems after the program started to deal with a COVID-19 outbreak earlier this week.
Since the Buckeyes have only played four games in 2020, the team would have to play both of their remaining contests in order to meet the six-game threshold to qualify for the conference championship game. If the team still maintains positive tests, both of those match-ups could be in jeopardy.
In an interview with Eleven Warriors, Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith was asked if he'd talked with the conference about the championship game requirements.
Smith dismissed the notion pretty quickly. He said he "hasn’t even thought about" petitioning the Big Ten to change the protocols.
“No, the conversations have not occurred,” Smith told the publication. “I understand that question and understand that people are thinking about that, but that’s not where we are.”
The Buckeyes Athletic Director expanded on his thoughts, emphasizing that his priority is the health and safety of his players.
“My concern today is making sure our players get fed. Making sure if they need a sports psychologist’s help, they get that. I get the question. I’m very sensitive to that. But that’s not where we are. I mean we made a decision late last night to do what we did, so a lot of things occurred late last night. So that last thing on my mind was [potential changes to the protocol].”
“Might [that circumstance] come up later at some point? No question. But right now, I haven’t even thought about it. I want to make sure Ryan’s got what he needs, and I want to make sure the young men that have tested positive have what they need and I want to continue to talk to our doctors and others about whatever enhanced protocols we move forward with to give them a chance to possibly play Michigan State.”
Time will tell if Ohio State can return to the football field soon. As of right now, the Buckeyes are scheduled to play Michigan State next Saturday.