Aug 12, 2020
Ohio State Head Football Coach Ryan Day Press Conference Transcript August 12
Ohio State Head Football Coach Ryan Day held a virtual press conference on August 12 to discuss the Big Ten Conference’s decision to postpone fall sports. Read the transcript of the press conference here.
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Ryan Day: (00:00)
Moving the NFL draft back and us having a, whether it’s a spring season or a winter season or however that works out, I think we need to start this in at least the first week of January. And that’ll allow players like Justin the opportunity to play in the season and then also get himself ready for the draft. But I think we need to get on this right now and get these guys some answers.
Speaker 1: (00:24)
Okay. Thank you. Another quickie, beyond the nuts and bolts of this decision not to play football. Can you talk about what this lack of it means for Columbus? Ohio State Football is woven into the fabric of the community just as much here as anywhere else. Can you talk about what it means for this city?
Ryan Day: (00:48)
Well, I mean, I can first off tell you what it means to this program. Right now, it’s devastating and there’s this time of mourning, but we’re focused on getting this season in the spring or when winter or however you call it going in January. So we have something to work towards and it is going to be very, very difficult. This whole year has been difficult, but we’re going to stick together and work through it, and it’s going to be difficult for a lot of people. There’s no question. It hurts. I have a range of emotions again, just sad, angry, frustrated, all the above. And I think our players do as well, but they’re a mature group. I think you’d just really be impressed by the way that they’ve handled themselves. And they feel like they’ve had something taken away from them, but at the same time, we’re really getting this thing focused on what’s next.
Ryan Day: (01:46)
And that’s why I really believe that we have to give these guys this plan moving forward on what is next. We owe it to these guys.
Speaker 1: (01:56)
Thank you, Ryan.
Next up Bill Bender from the Sporting News with Doug LaMaurice on deck. Bill?
Bill Bender: (02:02)
Hey Ryan, thanks for doing this. What is the ideal setup for a potential spring season in terms of anything ranging from number of games to knowing the fact that you guys could potentially go right back in the fall and have that second season. That seems to be a big concern with players moving forward.
Ryan Day: (02:19)
Yeah, and that’s why I think we’ve got to start it as soon as we can. I’m sure there’ll be a lot of back and forth here, but in my opinion, our staff, we’ve met on this, met on this with Gene, and I think that starting the first week of January would be the best way to go. An eight week season, and that way there is some separation between that season and the next season, and it’ll allow some of the bittier guys to come in and possibly play a two for one, they get two seasons in one calendar year, which the recruits I think would be really excited about. So that’s kind of the focus right now, is trying to put this plan together and button it up and then work towards getting it implemented.
Bill Bender: (03:07)
And as a quick followup, parents yesterday said the Big 10 coaches collectively would have to be creative in their thinking. What does that mean for you in terms of being creative, knowing you are a program that sends, on any given year, double digit guys to the NFL draft?
Ryan Day: (03:24)
I mean, we got to be creative, but this fall for us is each guy is going to have an individualized plan on how we’re going to improve them. Because we have such a range of different guys in the program. There’s some guys who were there last year and looking to play in the spring and then go on to the NFL draft. There’s other guys who just entered the program who really haven’t had a spring ball that need development. So each guy’s going to have an individualized plan on how they’re going to get better and improve their skills. And we’re talking about a bunch of different things right now, but in the next few days I think we’ll really button up everything that we have planned for them for the fall, but again still a lot of conversations with Gene about what the fall looks like. And we’re just going to keep pounding away at this thing.
Next up, Doug LaMaurice, cleveland.com with Tim May on deck. Doug?
Doug LaMaurice: (04:16)
Hey, Ryan. Feels like roster management is obviously very complicated at this point, do you expect that any of this could negatively impact the 2021 recruiting class in terms of what your numbers would be like for 2021? If you have guys who can’t play this year and retain eligibility and want to come back, I know it’s very early and I’m sure you are talking about it, but where is that right now? And are you concerned about the roster management for next year?
Ryan Day: (04:45)
I’m not, if we play, like we’re saying in January, February, March. If we don’t play then yeah, that would be a problem, but that’s why we got to put this plan together and get these guys going, because I think it’s very, very important that we do play that.
Doug LaMaurice: (05:01)
It feels like the Big 10 drew a pretty hard line in the sand of not having any teams get to the full contact, full padded part of practice. Did you understand that line? It felt like they just didn’t want to take that next step. And maybe that’s why this decision was now. Or do you feel like you guys could have stopped practice and done nothing for a while or continued with light helmet-only practice for a couple of weeks while they decided this? I’m just trying to interpret why now and how much the contact part played into it?
Ryan Day: (05:36)
No, that’s a great question. To answer your question, I think we could have done all of the above. Again, I’ve said this over and over again, I feel very, very strongly with our medical people here and their recommendations and what they’ve said to us about how we are to manage and operate practice.
Speaker 2: (05:52)
I’m on a call.
Ryan Day: (05:54)
And we’re ready to do that. And yeah, I think even us shutting down for a couple of days and getting back going again absolutely was possible. I still think it’s possible. And I felt strong about what our medical people recommended for us and the policies and procedures and protocols we put into place here in Columbus.
Doug LaMaurice: (06:13)
So you would have been ready to go to that next stage of contact had you been allowed to, you felt confident about that for Ohio State?
Ryan Day: (06:21)
Next up, Tim May with Letterman Row and Dan Hope on deck. Tim? I’m going to jump to Dan Hope with 11 Warriors and Adam Rittenberg on deck. Dan?
Dan Hope: (06:40)
Hey Ryan, when you have those conversations with a guy like Justin or Sean Wade, or anyone who might be thinking about, “I’m not sure if I want to stick around for a potential spring season that might not happen”, what’s your advice going to be to those guys kind of about how to deal with this uncertainty?
Ryan Day: (07:01)
Well, regardless of what happens, the NFL draft isn’t going to be until next spring. So we have everything in place here in Columbus to help those guys. So we have the best strength coach in America. We have all the resources here that they would need. We’re going to test continually, we’re going to give them meals. We’re going to meet on football, watch film, and just get them better.
Ryan Day: (07:26)
Physically, football wise, football IQ, all of the above. And then if by chance they do want to go ahead and go somewhere in the spring, they still have all spring to do that. In a normal cycle, they wouldn’t be leaving anywhere until January anyhow. So to go somewhere right now, to me, doesn’t make a lot of sense when we have everything you need right here. And I also don’t think it’s good for them mentally to go off somewhere and just be by themselves in isolation, which is kind of what you are when you go to those places. So we’re going to provide them everything they need to get better and to get stronger. And because we have those resources here at Ohio State.
Dan Hope: (08:02)
There are a few conferences still talking about trying to play this fall. Are you worried about any guys try to transfer out and go somewhere where they can play right now?
Ryan Day: (08:13)
No, I’m not. I’m sure that there are going to be schools that reach out to our players, we have great players, but I don’t see how that would be possible or even safe for someone just to go at this point and play in a few weeks, certainly not safe to go try to learn an offense and go to a new place and everything like that at this moment. And then just trying to get a waiver and all that in a short period of time. So I don’t think so. And again, that’s why we have to keep working towards this model of playing here in January. Put that schedule together so that we can get it to the guys and start working towards it.
Dan Hope: (08:49)
Next up, Adam Rittenberg with espn.com and Bill Rabinowitz on deck. Adam?
Adam Rittenberg: (08:56)
Hi Ryan. I know you felt comfortable with what Ohio State was doing. Did you get enough detail from the Big 10 or others on the rationale for why they made the decision to postpone?
Ryan Day: (09:10)
Well, we had great conversation. President Johnson, Gene and I, all felt the same way, we were aligned in this thing and felt strong about playing and at least delaying the start of the season until September. And we all agreed on that and wanted to continue to have those conversations. But in the end the presidents all collectively voted that the safety and welfare of the student athletes obviously took a priority and that they didn’t feel comfortable with us having a season. So that is what it is, and now we have to kind of move on to what’s next. But again, like you said, I’m very, very proud of what we did here.
Ryan Day: (09:50)
And our people here felt strong about it’s not a bubble, it’s close to it here that we created for our guys. There was a lot of hard work that we put into that. The amount of time and effort that our medical people, our trained staff, our coaches, and most importantly, our players put into this, that’s probably the most devastating thing.
Adam Rittenberg: (10:13)
And then regarding the spring, you seem to have an idea of how you would like it to go, but where is the planning from the league? Where’s the planning from the coaches? Because we’ve heard for months last resort, the spring. Well, this is now your reality. Where are you guys in terms of getting those details done?
Ryan Day: (10:30)
There are some models and everyone’s kind of throwing ideas around right now and we’re working really hard on that. That was not a focus a few days ago, but it is now, and so we’re going to have to work quickly and diligently to get this done.
Adam Rittenberg: (10:48)
Next up Bill Rabinowitz with the Columbus Dispatch and Jared Smalley on deck. Bill?
Bill Rabinowitz: (10:55)
Ryan, I’m sure this was a gut punch to you when you found out from Gene the decision, describe what that meeting was like with your players, the emotions that were-
Bill Rabinowitz: (11:03)
Describe what that meeting was like with your players, the emotions that were in that room.
Ryan Day: (11:05)
Yeah. One of the hardest conversations I’ve ever had to have, certainly the hardest meeting I’ve had. And to look guys like Jonathan Cooper in the eye and Justin Hillier, Justin Fields, Josh Meyers. I can go on, and on, and on. [inaudible 00:00:20]. These are so many guys who put so much time into this program, and that was an awful meeting, but the message was that, things get taken from you and this kind of got taken from us right now. And that although it’s hard, they’ll draw back upon this as a way to kind of use it as a reference point when things go bad in their life. We learn a lot of life lessons in football and we’re going to have to learn how to work through this.
Ryan Day: (11:52)
And while we don’t understand it, we’re going to have to be strong and work through adversity and stick together in the end. That’s what it’s about. And our culture is all built on fight. That’s the term, fight, and we’ve got to fight to stay strong and can’t let the human element kick in. But you don’t just wake up the next morning and everything’s fine, not when you invested this much time and effort into it, it’s not fine. It’s devastating. And so it’s going to take some time to heal, but as we keep putting one foot in front of the other, we’re going to get going again.
Bill Rabinowitz: (12:20)
You’ve made mental health a focus ever since you took the job. How concerning is it to you that without the incentive, without that [inaudible 00:12:29] right in front of them of having a season, that all the protocols that they’ve done such a good job of adhering to will be tougher to maintain because they don’t have that, “If I go out to somewhere tonight, I could not play this week.” How much concern is there about the mental health and also for maintaining the protocol still?
Ryan Day: (12:49)
That’s a great question. It’s a concern. It is. That’s a real concern. I think the maturity of our team and leadership of our team and our character and makeup will keep us from having a major problem in that area. But I can’t sit here and tell you I’m not concerned about that. I am.
Bill Rabinowitz: (13:04)
Next up, Jerod Smalley with WCMH NBC4 and Austin Ward on deck. Jerod?
Jerod Smalley: (13:15)
Hi, Ryan. As we sit here today, the SCC, the big 12, the ACC are all planning to play football and there are other conferences as well. Can you run through the natural challenges that you and your staff will face in recruiting? If those leagues go forward and they continue to play football and the big 10 does not, how does that create a new set of challenges for you when you get on the recruiting trail?
Ryan Day: (13:42)
Well, again, if for whatever reason we weren’t to play in January and February, that would be a whole different story, but that’s why I think we have to play. That’s why you have to play in January and February and March because of that very reason. So that’s why we’re going to work really, really hard to get that done and to keep our focus on that because certainly it would be a big challenge if we didn’t.
Jerod Smalley: (14:03)
You also mentioned the message you had to your players. I know you also talked to your team parents yesterday when you got the word, can you explain a little bit … they were very unified and they went public with their frustration and their support for you and your kids trying to get a season together. What was the message like to moms and dads?
Ryan Day: (14:23)
Well, from the get go on this, I thought the voices of our players and our parents were very, very important. It’s one thing for a coach to sit up and say that this is safe and this is how we’re doing things. And this is how our players feel. It’s another thing to have our players and our parents speak up for what they feel. And I thought that their voices were strong and it just was hard for me to look them in the eye after everything that’s been done, and we’re still not playing football because there’s been a lot of sacrifices made by a lot of people. Parents, players, and again, to look them in the eye and show them that, “Right now, we’ve got nothing to show for that.” That’s not an easy call.
Jerod Smalley: (15:10)
Next up, Austin Ward with Letterman Row and Bill Landis on deck. Austin?
Austin Ward: (15:16)
Ryan, you, Scott Frost, Jim Harbaugh and James Franklin were all pretty vocal on Monday and Tuesday about trying to play any way possible this fall in that you said you would fight for that.
Austin Ward: (15:28)
Is it your understanding that there no way that those four teams could play or scrimmage or do anything as far as the door fully closed on any kind of game?
Ryan Day: (15:39)
That’s a fluid situation. And Jean and I talked again this morning at length about this and we’re still exploring all those options. I know yesterday you guys kind of grabbed them walking out of the facility and maybe at a bad time, but no, this thing’s moving, it’s changing and we are looking at everything. I could promise you that.
Austin Ward: (16:02)
And you’ve talked about trying to put together a plan for the fall with workouts and I assume it’s going to be 20 hour work weeks or things like that. What guidance have you received at this point, from the big 10 about what you can and can’t do moving forward?
Ryan Day: (16:19)
As of right now, we’re putting our plan together here. There’s been nothing that’s come from the big 10 regarding moving forward. This has been more about what we feel comfortable with. With our players, we have decided that we’re going to be discretionary here for all the way through the first week of September, and then start to really put together a plan like I talked about that individualized plan for each guy to get a better.
Austin Ward: (16:48)
Next up, Bill Landis from The Athletic with [inaudible 00:16:54] on deck. Bill?
Bill Landis: (16:56)
Hey, Ryan. I’m just wondering with the meetings you all had yesterday, what it’s like to kind of have to check your emotions to deliver a clear plan. And on top of that, not really having much detail about what the plan is moving forward from the conference or the NCAA.
Ryan Day: (17:14)
Yeah. It’s not easy, but that’s leading in a time of uncertainty, which is where we’re at right now. And I don’t think about this as easy, but that’s what you signed up for. This is leadership and this is making sure that we could provide leadership and direction, and that’s what these guys want. And the other part is being transparent and real, to sit there in front of the guys and say, “this is okay.” It’s not. It’s not. You don’t just get up the next morning and move on, not after everything has been done. And so tried as hard as I can to make sure that we communicate during this time, provide some direction and just let them know how much we love and care for them.
Bill Landis: (17:51)
And on the recruiting side of things with your 21 class and I guess the guys that you’ve been in contact with so far in 22, have you had to do any maintenance with those guys to combat maybe some messaging about whether or not the conference that you’re fully supports football when other leagues are going forward to play?
Ryan Day: (18:11)
I think they’ve been really good. They’ve communicated. They understand how much, from the jump on this thing, they mean to our program and our future, and they’ve stuck together. They’ve been great. Now we have [inaudible 00:18:22] great families and great people. And I think there’s some excitement about the possibility of playing two seasons in one year. I think that’s a really exciting thing for them to consider. And I’m going to fight really, really hard so that if I’m a midyear guy coming in, we do play in January, that they have the opportunity to play in January and then also in the fall, but only count for one year of eligibility because it’s only playing in one calendar year. I think that’s really exciting for them and the possibility that really interests them.
Next up, Ari Wasserman from The Athletic. Actually, excuse me, Clay Hall with WSYX and Ari Wasserman on deck. Clay?
Clay Hall: (19:02)
Hey Ryan. Did I hear you right? That this might be some wiggle room to work something out with either other big 10 schools. What does that plan look like? How many plans are you putting together? I guess would be my question.
Ryan Day: (19:17)
Well, there’s just a lot of conversation, clay. We’re trying to explore every option possible and that’s what we owe it to our kids to do that. And that’s what we’re doing. And I can’t really get into specifics because there’s still a lot of unknowns there, but we’re asking all the questions and pushing the envelope as much as we can, making sure that obviously, that’s safe to do so, but we got to make sure we turn over every stone.
Clay Hall: (19:42)
How soon do you think a schedule or a plan will be finalized?
Ryan Day: (19:47)
That’s a great question, but I think it’s got to be fast and what is fast? It’s got to be weeks. It can’t be months.
Clay Hall: (19:54)
One last thing, how crushing would it be if you don’t get to put this team on the field? A team that could certainly be a challenge for the title?
Ryan Day: (20:08)
I don’t know. I’ll get emotional if I start thinking about it. And what I said to the team the other day is the truth. You as a player, you work your whole life and as a coach, you work your whole life or an opportunity to coach a team like this. This team is special. It’s special because it’s talented, especially because it has leadership. It’s special because of the character. It could have been a once in a lifetime team. Certainly the team last year, I’ll never forget, it was the first time as a head coach and what they did was awesome. But there was just something about this team that had it … they came back hungry after their last game on the field, they were determined. And this quarantine, this virus was not going to get in their way.
Clay Hall: (20:58)
It sounded like you just put that into past tense.
Ryan Day: (21:03)
Clay Hall: (21:04)
This team, you said, this team would, you know what I mean? It’s not like [crosstalk 00:21:10] … okay, thank you for your time.
Ryan Day: (21:12)
Clay Hall: (21:13)
Next up, Ari Wasserman with The Athletic and Patrick Murphy on deck. Ari?
Ari Wasserman: (21:18)
Hey, Ryan. Since you guys started this quarantine and since March recruiting visits and the recruiting calendar’s kind of been an ongoing discussion. Obviously, if you guys were playing in the spring or attempting to play in the spring, visits and other things that have already been complicated get a little bit more complicated. Do you have any take on how it’s been navigating the recruiting world when the rules are kind of up in the air right now, in terms of what things are going to look like? And do you think there needs to be a discussion or some insight given to the program and everybody else for how to navigate this if we’re not sure about signing day still works on the days that are in place or visits are going to happen and all the things that you guys are still trying to navigate through?
Ryan Day: (21:59)
I think it’s going to be hard to have visits throughout the fall, just with everything going on to bring-
Ryan Day: (22:03)
… Hard to have visits throughout the fall, just with everything going on to bring different families on campus and recruits on campus. And then, typically they want to stay and spend time with our players. I just think the more exposure, it’s probably not prudent to do that. But, so I think that’s a challenge, and I think the frustrating thing for the recruits, is that they haven’t been able to visit here in a long, long time. It’s been dead for months, and it’s almost going to be a calendar year. So that’s a challenge, but I don’t think you can change the recruiting calendar. I don’t think you can change the signing day. I think it has to be what it is, so that these guys can come at mid year. They’ve worked really, really hard to get to this point, and they’ve set up their schedules for that. But, a lot of conversations still has to be had about all of that. But as I sit here right now, that’s kind of how I see it.
Ari Wasserman: (22:50)
You mentioned, in answer to Bill’s question, about how recruits could be potentially excited about playing two seasons in one calendar year. Urban Meyer went on Big Ten Network the other day and said there’s no … Or, yesterday actually said, “There’s no chance you could play two seasons in one calendar year.” Why do you feel like that’s something that can be done? And, do you fear or have concern about the safety issues that might come into play if you play two calendar … Especially with freshmen who might be excited to play, who haven’t been at this level yet?
Ryan Day: (23:21)
Yeah. I mean, I think if you play a full schedule, and you play it starting in the spring, like when you get into March, then I think now you’re asking for trouble. But I think if you play an eight or possibly nine game season, starting back, push it back to January, then I think that’s real. And so, I think it’s important, again, the the number of games and also the start date.
Ari Wasserman: (23:47)
Ryan Day: (23:48)
Next up, Patrick Murphy with 247 Sports and Dennis Dodd on deck. Patrick?
Patrick Murphy: (23:55)
Ryan, earlier you mentioned a number of players that were difficult to have this conversation with. I’m curious about Jonathan Cooper in particular. Obviously we know what he went through last year. He talked to us last week. That video came out on social media, about him talking to the team. Him in particular, what does this mean losing this fall? Even if you get to have a shortened spring season, for that player in particular?
Ryan Day: (24:21)
Well, he and I had a lot of hard conversations last year when we had to make the decision on whether to play four games or more, and then decided to come back for this season, and then pick what games should he play in. And those were long, emotional conversations, and then to make the decision to come back, put in an unbelievable off season, and this was his shot, because he was in really good shape going into preseason when he got that ankle. So, we’ve had multiple conversations, and I told him that, “I can’t explain why this is happening to you.” I shared some of my life experiences with him, and that life can take you to your knees, and this sport can take you to your knees. And it has to me, but it’ll make him stronger for it in the end, and that the good news is, he has a really bright future and that he’s healthy and he’s going to have a bright future, no matter what. And he’s an unbelievable young man who’s had an impact on this program.
Ryan Day: (25:20)
So, this is just one of those things, another obstacle that he’s got to push through and push forward to. And while it’s hard, I think that, again, that’s why if you can’t get up in the morning, get motivated to get this thing done so that he can play a season here, starting in January, or hopefully even maybe before then, then you got to get out of this profession, because that’s what this thing’s all about.
Patrick Murphy: (25:43)
And I know you’ve been asked before to reflect on everything that’s happened in your short time as a head coach. This is obviously just another obstacle. When you have to go through and navigate each of these things, what has made you prepared for this? What has made you capable of standing in front of that room for instance, and telling these guys, “hey, there’s not going to be a fall season”, or any of the other things that have happened?
Ryan Day: (26:06)
Well, I mean I just know that being the head coach at Ohio State, there’s a lot of things you have to work through. But the number one thing is to be a leader, and to take care of your players, and show them some direction, and how much you care for them, and be real, and solve their problems and advocate for them. And have composure when things don’t go well, because that’s kind of how life works. When things are going really, really well, you get all you can get and you enjoy it. When you’re having tough times and you’re going through times like this, you just hang on the best you can. You stick together, you trust the people that you trust, and you just push through it, because sunny days will be coming soon. But certainly doesn’t make it any easier, but that’s the job.
Next up, Dennis Dodd, CBS Sports Online, and Steve Helwagen on deck. Dennis?
Dennis Dodd: (26:56)
Ryan, I know that the conference is going to cover scholarships, but how important is it to get the eligibility piece defined? Maybe get those guys an extra year of eligibility as well?
Ryan Day: (27:08)
Well again, if we put in the spring that it won’t matter as much. If that doesn’t work, then yeah, then that would be something that’s got to be solved really, really fast. And so again, this is where we need some help to get some of these answers for these guys fast.
Dennis Dodd: (27:25)
And also, have you thought about if you play next spring, what you’re playing for? Obviously a Big Ten Championship, and perhaps a Rose Bowl. Looks like they’d be willing to move. But beyond that, have you wondered about a CFP that would involve those schools to play in the spring?
Ryan Day: (27:42)
I have. And I mean, I think that playing for the Big Ten Championship would be the first goal, and then based on how everything shakes out with the other conferences. I mean, if they push forward, they push forward. If they decide here, at some point, to push back to the spring, then that would make it exciting to be able to have a CFP. And I still think we can do that, and certainly not giving up hope on that.
Dennis Dodd: (28:05)
Do you care if it’s a split title, or those other conferences play in the fall, for one?
Ryan Day: (28:14)
Yeah, I’d much rather play the CFP. Yeah, then just splitting it. But, yeah.
Dennis Dodd: (28:24)
Next up, Steve Helwagen, 247 Sports with Nathan Baird on deck. Steve?
Steve Helwagen: (28:30)
Yeah coach, just curious. I mean, all the hard work that has gone into putting this program where it is, national top three program, in everybody’s estimation, there’s something like yesterday. Does that put any of that, all that hard work in jeopardy or in peril? It sounds like you got out of bed today, intent that you’re not taking a step back, you’re taking a step forward. Is that how you would characterize it?
Ryan Day: (28:58)
Thanks for the question, and thanks again for the kind words, and it’s pretty accurate. I mean, there’s been a lot of work that’s put in to getting this program to this point, and this is certainly an obstacle and a challenge. But, I gave myself last night to throw a pretty party, and then I woke up this morning back to work, because that’s what it is, and that’s what life is, and that’s what this sport is.
Steve Helwagen: (29:19)
Did anybody ever explain why you can’t compete outside the Big Ten framework? It seems like there would be no harm done to the schools that don’t want to play. Maryland faces six ranked opponents, doesn’t have a team that can compete, and maybe they don’t want to play, but Nebraska wants to play. I presume you want to play. Has anybody explained why it would be harmful to the Big Ten [crosstalk 00:29:47] conference or any of the other schools, [crosstalk 00:29:49] why you would play?
Speaker 3: (29:51)
About the protocol, and I know Bill’s talked about it just a little [crosstalk 00:29:54].
Hey, can we, everybody mute please?
Speaker 3: (29:56)
Given all of the non-conference games, [crosstalk 00:29:58].
Ryan Day: (29:59)
I think it’s Dennis.
Speaker 3: (29:59)
Everything that’s happened. Do you guys expect us committed [crosstalk 00:00:30:02].
Hey Dennis, can you go on mute please? Thank you.
Dennis Dodd: (30:06)
Steve Helwagen: (30:07)
Yeah, just did anybody explain why that would be considered harmful to the rest of the Big Ten, or the two, three, four schools that would want to go out on their own and try and still have a season?
Ryan Day: (30:19)
Yeah that’s, again, that was part of the conversation that Gina and I had this morning, and some of the things that Nebraska has asked about is something that we’re continually asking about as well. We play non-conference games year in and year out. And so, in this unique situation, we’re just trying to find out what exactly the conferences stance is on this, and what it means with TV contracts and everything else. So, yeah, when we’re asking all those questions.
Steve Helwagen: (30:48)
Next up, Nathan Baird with Cleveland.com and Joey Kaufman on deck. Nathan?
Nathan Baird: (30:55)
Hey Ryan, yesterday fans saw you tweet out that hashtag fight. You brought it up again today. You said that you’re proud of what Ohio State did as far as, I guess, trying to figure out a solution for this fall. So, did Ohio State administration, I guess from the top down, fight enough, in your opinion, to have football this fall? And if so, how was that demonstrated to you?
Ryan Day: (31:20)
Sure. Well, first off again, I know that President Johnson had a long talk with her last night, certainly in that conversation and obviously my daily conversations with [Gene 00:31:32] day in and day out, that we’re all aligned on this thing, that we all wanted to play. And at the very least we wanted to move back to September, and that we didn’t think that we should make that decision this week. So that was clear. And then, how do we demonstrate it? Well, I just think that the amount of resources that’s been poured into this program to prove as a flagship program, that this can be done, and that I said to the guys all the time, “When you come in here every day, you’re proving to the nation that we can do this as a college football program.” And I think we did.
Nathan Baird: (32:15)
And relative to the science again, I mean you’d said all along that the science would lead the decisions that Ohio State made. Have you seen what you need to see as far as, the Pac-12 was very specific in some of the things that said would prevent it from playing football this fall. Big Ten was a little bit more vague. Are you still waiting to see more science as to why you can’t play football right now?
Ryan Day: (32:40)
Well again, I think that in order to play a season and play games, we still had to see the protocol that was put in place, and that our medical people would provide for us to say that they felt good about us playing games, when terms of traveling and in some of the testing protocol, and making sure that we’re all on the same page there. We weren’t, and so because of that …
Ryan Day: (33:03)
We weren’t. And so, because of that, I really wasn’t ready to play a game. However, I still thought we could get there. And I think that we set the table on that and showed the example of how we could get there. However, we made this decision this week, and so now we’ll never quite know. But that’s behind us, and so now we’re just trying to work towards how do we make it better and how do we get this thing going in January.
Next up, Joey Kaufman with the Columbus dispatch, and Tom VanHaaren on deck, Joey?
Joey Kaufman: (33:34)
Ryan, as far as the eligibility question goes, if there is no season that begins in January or February, I know you mentioned that issue would like to be addressed, but would you like to see players get an extra year of eligibility like spring sports athletes did? So conceivably your seniors, if they don’t get a chance to play in the spring or winter, would then get a chance to play in 21 in the fall.
Ryan Day: (33:58)
I mean, if that were to happen, then I think they do deserve that. But again, not if we have the season. If we can get the season in, then it is. But those guys, they play the season and then we move on. But yeah, if there’s no season, then I think they should. Yes.
Joey Kaufman: (34:16)
And as far as what you guys are able to do right now, are you guys able to do 20 hour weeks? And what are you guys doing for just today, tomorrow, and the weeks ahead?
Ryan Day: (34:25)
Yeah, we’re discretionary right now, which means we shut everything down today. But starting tomorrow, Mick’s got the weight room open and those guys can still have everything they need here. We’re still going to test once a week. We were at twice before, but now that we’re not in a high-risk time, we’re just going to go to once a week and provide them still with meals, provide them with tutors, provide them everything they need here. And then once we get going in September, we’ll start with on-the-field stuff, in terms of football school, that’s going to be individualized for each guy.
Joey Kaufman: (35:01)
Next up, Tom VanHaaren, espn.com, and Spencer Holbrook on deck, Tom?
Tom VanHaaren: (35:08)
Hey Ryan, if we could go back to the midyear enrollee part where you said there’s potential that midyear enrollees might be able to play in both seasons if it’s played in January or the spring, is that something that you’re working to change right now, and correct me if I’m wrong, I thought that in order for them to be eligible, they’d have to reclassify. Are you trying to change that to make that happen?
Ryan Day: (35:29)
Have to reclassify what?
Tom VanHaaren: (35:32)
If a midyear enrollee came in in January and wanted to play in the spring season, for instance.
Ryan Day: (35:38)
Tom VanHaaren: (35:38)
From what I understood, they would have to reclassify back to the 2020 class.
Ryan Day: (35:42)
No, I’m not aware of that, and I don’t think that that would make sense at all. I mean, in this environment, everything that these kids have been through, to do that to them would not be right. It doesn’t make sense for their calendar in school, academically, that doesn’t make sense at all. To me, they should be allowed to play in the spring and then play in the fall, and that should be their freshman year in one year of eligibility. It’s one calendar year. I don’t know how you can use two years in one calendar year that wouldn’t make any sense to me.
Ryan Day: (36:13)
And secondly, it would really disrupt their academic calendar as well. So I think I’ll pound the table really strongly that that should happen like that.
Tom VanHaaren: (36:24)
And I could be wrong on that. So I’m not a hundred percent, but I believe that that’s what it is. But with the scholarship allotment also and having to maintain 85, is that one of your questions that you’re looking to get answered as well? If you do have a season in the spring and you do bring in midyear enrollees that you would be over the 85 scholarship limit, is that something that needs to be addressed as well? And is there anything else that you’re looking to get addressed?
Ryan Day: (36:51)
Yeah, we’d have to get a waiver for that. And then I assume that the guys who were in their last year of eligibility would be the ones that you would count into your count, and then anybody else who is declaring after the season. So yeah, I think that’s how you would have to do it, but certainly we would be over the 85.
Tom VanHaaren: (37:10)
Okay. Thank you.
Folks, we have time for just a couple more. Next up, Spencer Holbrook, Letterman Row, with Hayleigh Colombo on deck, Spencer?
Austin Ward: (37:19)
Ryan, I know things are pretty much in the air still with, moving forward, what you guys are going to be able to do as the fall progresses, but would you like to see the big 10 allow you guys to put on some pads and be able to do things that you might not have been able to do in the next couple of weeks had you had a fall season? And do you think that’s something that you’re going to push for?
Ryan Day: (37:38)
Yeah, right now that’s the plan, because I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to do that. I think it should be up to the university. I mean, the fall is the fall and we would typically be playing, so if we think there’s guys that, especially the young guys who need to get out in the field and do some of that, I think that we need to be able to do that, because we need to develop our young players. I’m worried about the game moving forward if we’re not able to get these guys developed. We missed the whole spring, now we missed the whole preseason and these guys need to play some football.
Ryan Day: (38:10)
Certainly if the medical folks say that that’s not safe, and that’s a whole another story. But in terms of rules and regulations, I can’t imagine why I wouldn’t be able to do that. But that would be up to the university, in my opinion, and the program to figure out what that is. And so once we put that plan together, because there’s certain guys that don’t need that, and then there’s certain guys that do. To me, Josh Myers and Wyatt Davis and Jonathan Cooper don’t need to be doing that, but there’s also some really good young guys in our program that need to play and get developed.
Austin Ward: (38:45)
And then speaking of a couple of those young guys, you’re a quarterback coach, how much does this affect the progression that you see your quarterback room taking? Because you’ve got two guys who you thought were going to get an entire before they were able to take snaps in maybe fourth quarters this fall, and now they’re not only behind a spring, but then a fall. So what do you think about your quarterback room right now?
Ryan Day: (39:06)
Yeah, that’s it, it’s a concern. I mean, there’s 30 some odd practices that they didn’t have, but everybody’s in the same boat. So we’ll have to figure out a plan to get it fixed, but it’s not like we’re the only ones, at least in the conference. But yeah, it’s something that I know those guys really want to get out there and start getting some reps under their belt because there’s nothing that replaces experience.
Austin Ward: (39:29)
Next up, Hayleigh Colombo with Columbus Business First, and Lori Schmidt on deck, Hayleigh?
Hayleigh Colombo: (39:34)
Hey there coach, has Gene Smith or the administration asked you to prepare to tighten your belt financially within the football program? Have you been asked to take a pay cut or will that have to happen, and do you anticipate any loss of staff or resources?
Ryan Day: (39:54)
That’s a great question. Yeah, no, great question. And now that this postponement has been confirmed, that’s stuff that Gene and I even talked about as of last night, and we’re going to get in line with Gene and the institution and the university to make sure that we do everything we can to make sure that we’re we’re whole financially. So yeah, all things that are on the table right now.
Hayleigh Colombo: (40:18)
Have you volunteered to take a pay cut?
Ryan Day: (40:21)
We’ve had many, many conversations about this, but there’s a lot of things that we need to consider on this. So yeah, we’re working on it right now and we’re going to have a good plan moving forward.
Hayleigh Colombo: (40:34)
Next up, and these will be the final questions, Lori Schmidt from 614 Magazine, Lori?
Lori Schmidt: (40:40)
Ryan, I wonder if you’ve had a chance at any point to think big-picture about the challenge that you’re facing. This is very different than preparing for Michigan Community, your team, yourself, you’re all facing something that’s unprecedented. Have you ever taken a moment to think about that?
Ryan Day: (40:56)
Lori, it’s team up north, please don’t use that word.
Lori Schmidt: (40:59)
Ryan Day: (41:01)
Yeah, I’ve considered it a lot and where we’re going, and you have to sometimes take a step back and take a deep breath and figure out, “Okay, where is this going?” But you can’t focus on that too much. Again, you have to win the moment like we talked about. You guys have heard me say that a lot, and how do you do that? You just dive into your work and try to win the day and then put another one together tomorrow. And that’s really been the focus. And, again, if you keep doing that, good things will happen. But certainly yesterday was one of those days where you got to take a deep breath and look at where we’re going here.
Lori Schmidt: (41:33)
Ryan Day: (41:34)
Great. And coach, from Jerry, thank you again for your time. Really appreciate it.
Doug LaMaurice: (41:38)
Hey, Jerry. Can I-
Ryan Day: (41:38)
Okay. Yeah, go ahead, Doug.
Doug LaMaurice: (41:41)
Ryan, I just feel like you’ve said some really important things here. And if I could ask a final recap question, you are the coach of Ohio State. Ohio State is the most important athletic program in the big 10. You’ve made a strong push for playing a January, you’ve talked two-for-ones for the incoming freshmen, you’ve cracked the door on still trying to do something this fall. How possible do you think this is, and how much do you think the big 10 should listen to Ohio State on some of these suggestions and how much will the big 10, how much will they listen to Ohio State on some of these suggestions?
Ryan Day: (42:16)
We’ve got some work to do, Doug, and I appreciate it. I don’t know the answer to that, but I know that I’m going to fight like heck for these guys, to push forward on what we think is right and it’ll be a lot of back and forth and there will be able to be some conceding of points here and there. But as I sit here right now, I feel pretty strongly about what I’ve said and I’m going to work hard to get it done.
Doug LaMaurice: (42:38)
Thank you, Ryan. Thank you, Jerry.
You bet ya. Thank you.
Speaker 4: (42:41)
Thanks guys, thanks coach.
And coach, thank you your time and we’ll be in touch.
Speaker 5: (42:44)
Thanks so much.
Speaker 6: (42:45)
Speaker 4: (42:47)
Thank you everyone.
Speaker 5: (42:47)
Ryan Day: (42:47)