When the Big Ten announced the decision to cancel/postpone the 2020 football season amid the COVID-19 pandemic, criticism was fast and harsh from seemingly all corners of the Big Ten. A lot of that was directed squarely on the shoulders of conference commissioner Kevin Warren, and some would say rightfully so.
From players to school officials, to lawyers, and fans, many were outspoken about the lack of transparency, inclusion, and sensibility coming from the offices in Chicago.
And while the Big Ten eventually reversed course (sort of) and decided to play a delayed and abbreviated schedule, there’s still the past history to get past. It was somewhat forgotten with Ohio State’s run to the national championship game, but now, that scab is being picked at again.
That’s because a document dump that came as a result of a public records request from local media has pulled the curtain back on some of the back and forth between Ohio State and the Big Ten offices, including Kevin Warren.
In it, a text message from OSU president Kristina Johnson to athletic director Gene Smith expressed concern for Warren’s stance on a letter put forth by the FPAOS (The Football Parents Association of Ohio State) that was critical of the Big Ten’s decision.
“Kevin (Warren) is alleging that the letter is being manufactured,” Ohio State president Kristina M. Johnson said in text messages to athletic director Gene Smith on Aug. 15. “The upcoming letter from OSU parents – claims it is be manufactured – I am not happy pretty serious charge IMHO – but want to keep the eye on the prize.”
Smith seemed a bit taken aback by the charge and voiced his displeasure as well.
“Wow, how would he know…” Smith responded. “Our parents have a formal organization with a president, vice president etc… They are an organized group I am sure ours it is genuine… agree… eye on the prize.”
The reaction to this revelation has not been kind as you can imagine. The FPAOS has responded on Twitter and has expressed its “lack of confidence in the Big Ten Conference leadership.”
You can read the entire statement released by the parent organization below, but perhaps the most stinging comment comes at the end where Warren is simply told to “do better.”
Welp. Just when you thought the Big Ten drama from last season was over, here we go again.