Ohio State AD Gene Smith not in favor of playing football games in empty stadiums
Numerous ideas have been proposed over the last few weeks to ensure that the 2020 college football season is played. One of those ideas is playing games inside empty stadiums, with fans not permitted to attend the contests.
That’s not an idea that Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith supports. While speaking with the media on Friday, he explained why that’s not really a viable option.
“I struggle with that concept,” Smith said, according to Bill Landis of The Athletic. “If we don’t have fans that means we’ve determined it’s not safe for them. So why would it be safe for the players?”
Smith’s concerns are valid ones, and it’s a sentiment shared by other athletic directors. Last week, Penn State’s Sandy Barbour said that it was very unlikely that if students were not allowed back on campus, then student-athletes would be no exception. Essentially, if classes can’t resume in the fall with face-to-face interaction, college athletics will be placed on hold.
While the decision-makers in college football are working tirelessly to consider as many options as possible, it doesn’t sound like the empty-stadium argument is receiving much consideration. For now, it’s probably not in the cards.