COLUMBUS — The news of football’s return to Ohio State University spread like wildfire Wednesday. Everywhere on the Columbus campus students shared the news by word of mouth and social media that the presidents of the Big Ten universities had voted to bring football back for a season starting October 23 and 24.
University President Kristina Johnson, in an on-line press conference, made the formal announcement that the games would return to Ohio Stadium. “We are so excited for all Buckeye Nation and enthusiastically support the decision by the Big Ten Conference leadership to proceed with a fall season. This is what we wanted …for an opportunity for our students to compete in the sports they love,” Johnson said.
After Johnson’s press conference, students finally saw some hope that at least one part of traditional campus life will return despite the pandemic. “I could not be more excited. I was over at the Jesse Owens ( Recreation Center ) working out and saw it on TV. I almost freaked out. It’s crazy,” said OSU student Chad Willis.
The Big Ten had cancelled the season back on August 11th due to fears of spreading the coronavirus. Then discussions began anew when more was learned about how the virus was being spread and more COVID-19 testing became available. After weeks of rumors about a Big Ten comeback, the conference made their announcement Wednesday morning.
Each team will have to follow strict coronavirus testing and reporting protocols for players, coaches and support staff. Game schedules will be released later. Tickets will not be available because no fans will be allowed in the stadium.
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