Former Buckeye, current congressman Anthony Gonzalez says canceling football would be 'devastating'
Former Ohio State football player and current first-term congressman Anthony Gonzalez has weighed in on the idea of canceling the 2020 B1G football season. He’s not a huge fan.
Madness broke out on Monday, when the Dan Patrick Show and the Detroit Free Press reported that the B1G voted against playing college football in the fall and was set to make an announcement on Tuesday. Things rapidly changed after players and coaches took to Twitter as part of the #WeWantToPlay campaign that unfolded.
Shortly after the backlash, Sean Callahan of Rivals.com reported that no decision had been made and that there had been no vote to cancel this season as of yesterday afternoon. So, B1G football lived to see another day.
Along with the players and coaches, one individual happy to see the B1G continue to keep the schedule on the table was Gonzalez, who played at Ohio State in the mid-2000s. He says it’s too early to make that kind of decision.
“I learned more inside a college locker room than I have in any other endeavor I’ve tried in my life,” Gonzalez told the Columbus Dispatch. “That experience is so valuable. And to take it from them when, from what I can see, the players want to play, the coaches want to coach, and the players’ parents want the players to play, to not even give them the option, I think is devastating.”
Head coach Ryan Day went on ESPN on Monday evening, after the rumors were to put to bed that the B1G canceled its season. The second-year head coach said he was blindsided by the initial report and thought it was way too early to make that kind of call.
Last week, the B1G released its schedule, filled with plenty of bye weeks and flexibility to allow for potential issues. Day said that, if necessary, utilize that flexibility before calling off the season.
“It caught me off guard,” Day said. “We put the schedule out last week and it was designed to have some flexibility. [Canceling the season] now would be a mistake.”
For Gonzalez, canceling the college football season would lead to bigger issues with players. He thinks there could be a mental health concern, not just at Ohio State, but across the country.
“You’re talking about kids, from the time they were little boys, who have been in the backyard, and in the playground, dreaming of what they were about to do on Saturday afternoons and dreaming about the opportunity to play in the National Football League,” Gonzalez said. “That’s what you’re talking about. And for a lot of those kids, this is the best chance they have. They know that.
“So if you take that away, the thing they’ve been working for their whole lives, that they’ve earned, nobody gave that to them, without any input, I think it will cause enormous mental health challenges and add just another layer of difficulty for a lot of these kids in what has already been a very difficult path.”
Multiple reports have indicated that B1G presidents are scheduled to meet again on Tuesday morning. They have met multiple times over the last three days regarding the outlook of fall sports.
It’s unclear if a decision on the season will be made.