Ohio State QB Justin Fields starts campaign to reinstate Big Ten season
Justin Fields is one of many players in the Big Ten who do not agree with the conference’s decision to cancel the fall football season, and the Ohio State star is trying to pressure Big Ten officials to reverse course.
On Sunday, Fields launched an online petition addressed to Big Ten officials urging them to reinstate the 2020 season. The petition surpassed its initial goal of 6,000 signatures in less than an hour.
“We, the football players of the Big Ten, together with the fans and supporters of college football, request that the Big Ten Conference immediately reinstate the 2020 football season,” the campaign reads. “Allow Big Ten players/teams to make their own choice as to whether they wish to play or opt out this fall season. Allow Big Ten players/teams who choose to opt out of playing a fall season to do so without penalty or repercussion.”
Fields added that he believes the coronavirus health and safety protocols that have been established by teams and universities are adequate.
“Don’t let our hard work and sacrifice be in vain. #LetUsPlay!” the petition says.
Fields was one of the first players to react on social media after the Big Ten announced the fall season has been canceled. He’s not the only one at Ohio State who wants to play, as head coach Ryan Day previously said the Buckeyes would explore ways to play games outside the conference. Day has since said the team is no longer considering that option and is focusing on trying to play in the spring.
Fields passed for 3,273 yards, 41 touchdowns and three interceptions last season, while rushing for 10 touchdowns. He was a Heisman Trophy finalist and a favorite to win the award this year. Now, he will have to decide if he wants to potentially play in the spring or declare for the NFL Draft, where he would likely be one of the top two quarterbacks taken. Fields said this week that he feels he has unfinished business at Ohio State.
In addition to Fields’ petition, parents of Ohio State players are also trying to pressure the Big Ten to let their kids play. Despite the efforts, the decision is almost certainly final.