Even without fall football, Ohio State fans rallied together for a Saturday at The Shoe. They joined the board of Football Parents at Ohio State who peacefully protested the Big Ten’s decision to cancel the 2020 season at the conference’s headquarters last weekend in Chicago.
One of the most prominent messages told by parents at the rotunda came from the father of cornerback, Shaun Wade. With the words “the easy way out” printed on his shirt, Randy Wade understands that his son does not necessarily need to play football this fall. Shaun is a preseason All-American and projected to be a first round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, yet he is still taking the high road in hopes to play this season for his team, his family and for Buckeye Nation.
“It takes just one person to start something” says Randy Wade, “I think the collectiveness of all of the Big Ten parents made this happen and the fans made this happen so any problems you have, if you just come together, you can have great change”.
Like Wade, Dr. Corey Teague, sees an opportunity to unite in great leadership for his son, running back, Master Teague. What Teague and the rest of the FPAOS are asking the Big Ten for is: transparency. It is still unclear how the conference came to their decision, which Teague believes “is not a good example of leadership for our boys” but is optimistic that it can teach a valuable life lesson.
Master Teague spent his summer recovering intensively from an Achilles injury so that he could play this fall but the season was stripped away without specific reasoning even as the health and safety protocols showed successful strides. Teague hopes that the team sees “that when things are not going well, you can push back in a peaceful way, in a realistic way…..a way that uses facts that are true instead of just going off of some situation that didn’t really have a foundation to stand on”.
Stepmother to Kamryn Babb, Amanda Babb, became the president of the FPAOS during a time of great uncertainty. She has embraced the challenges head on with the commitment to continue the fight. Although the communication has been limited from the conference, Babb praises the efforts of the Ohio State football program, “the coaches are working hard, we are all working hard and we are really trying to do it for a season….. the players are really bought in and I think that speaks a lot of the coaches and how they got the players to understand the importance of following the procedures”.
The immediate future of Big Ten football remains unknown but it is evident that the Ohio State football program, its family and fans have the undying motivation to keep the hopes alive.