Ryan Day has spent some time this month, which typically would have been filled with spring practices for his Ohio State Buckeyes, working on his chili recipe. He throws the ingredients in the crock pot in the morning, turns the temperature setting to low and then it’s ready for dinner.
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Day’s winning percentage at Ohio State (.941, 16-1) is much better than his winning percentage as a chef.
“One was a good one,” he said. “The other complete was a complete failure.”
This is a challenging time for the second-year coach — inside and outside the kitchen. The coronavirus pandemic has forced Ohio State to adapt in all sorts of different areas. Day talked about how he and his coaches are doing it in a teleconference with media earlier this week. Here are some highlights:
On how his program is handling this time: “It’s been a unique time for our staff and for our players for sure. But I first off want to just say that I think Gov. (Mike) DeWine and President (Michael) Drake and (Athletic Director) Gene Smith have really done an excellent job so far of getting out in front of this, communicating and just handling this the right way. With with their lead, we’ve been doing the best we can to follow the protocol with our players. You know anybody who was in the dorms is now at home for the most part. There are a few guys who are in the dorms. There are a few guys who are living in their apartments locally. All organized activities and everything at the Woody has been shut down.”
On recruiting: “We’re doing the best we can to communicate with these families and using FaceTime and different things to communicate and try to answer their questions the best they can even though right now they’re not able to visit on campus.”
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On communicating with current players: “This generation, especially, you know they’re just so used to such great feedback. So we’re trying to make sure we give them that feedback and trying to help them with all that stuff. Their lives are so structured when they’re here that we have to make sure we can do the best we can remotely, to give them that structure as well. This week, obviously, the first concern was academics and making sure that everybody was comfortable with their classes.”
On helping the players stay in football shape: “We have guys who are in downtown New York City (in) Brooklyn. We have guys who are in Hawaii, California, Seattle, I mean all over the country. … A lot of times those guys are just really at their house, doing bodyweight things and trying to keep themselves in shape and stay healthy because we worked really hard to get ourselves in shape and ready for spring practice.”
On how practices will be handled when they resume in college football: “I talked to a couple of Big Ten coaches about their thoughts. Some places have already had nine practices. There’s some that have had more than that. I think that’s a little bit of an unfair advantage. Also, they’ve had 20-hour work weeks where we only had one. So there’s a little bit of inequality there now. We certainly understand this is this is a situation is very unique, and we have to take that into consideration.”
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On his concern about the season not starting on time or not being played at all: “There’s just so many scenarios out there. You can go down a lot of rabbit holes. And until we know for sure, I feel like we’re kind of wasting energy because I don’t, we don’t know. Certainly it’s a concern. That would be awful, but try not to get that far down the road.”
On the status of injured running back Master Teague: “He is (staying) local, which is great. He’s gonna rehab and do a great job with that. (Running back coach) Tony Alfred’s in constant communication with Master, and Master is a very mature young man. He’s got his priorities straight. He’s going to attack this rehab and he’s going to do the best he can to get back as fast as possible.”
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