The Big Ten’s decision to postpone fall sports with the possibility of moving the schedule to the spring put one of the country’s best quarterbacks on the sidelines.
Ohio State’s Justin Fields will no longer be able to play because of the Big Ten’s decision to put the season on hold due to the coronavirus. The quarterback had a three-letter reaction to the news.
“Smh..” he tweeted Tuesday.
While it’s possible Fields could transfer to a school that does decide to play during the fall, the more likely option is that he declares for the NFL Draft and forgoes his NCAA eligibility. Fields is likely to be a top-10 pick in the NFL, according to top experts.
The Big Ten has expressed a possibility of playing in the spring but nothing was set in stone when the conference made its announcement Tuesday.
“The mental and physical health and welfare of our student-athletes has been at the center of every decision we have made regarding the ability to proceed forward,” said Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren. “As time progressed and after hours of discussion with our Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee, it became abundantly clear that there was too much uncertainty regarding potential medical risks to allow our student-athletes to compete this fall.”
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith released a separate statement on the matter.
“This is an incredibly sad day for our student-athletes, who have worked so hard and been so vigilant fighting against this pandemic to get this close to their season,” Smith said. “My heart aches for them and their families.
“[Ohio State President-elect Kristina M. Johnson] and I were totally aligned in our efforts to delay the start of the season rather than postpone. I am so grateful to her for all her efforts in support of our student-athletes and a traditional fall season.
“As an institution and as an athletic department, we have a responsibility first and foremost to care for the health, safety and wellness of our students and staff, and I believe we have done that successfully.”