The National College Football Playoff Championship between No. 1 Alabama and No. 3 Ohio State has all the ingredients for a climactic finale to the 2020 season.
And that was before Kristen Saban Setas added fuel to the fire.
When it emerged Tuesday that COVID-19 issues among Buckeyes players could result in a postponement, Setas, the daughter of Alabama coach Nick Saban, took to Twitter to vent her frustrations with the situation.
“If you don’t have the confidence to play, SAY IT,” Saban Setas wrote on Twitter (his account has since it has been removed). “I call BS in cases of COVID. They are only concerned about his QB and want him to have more time to recover. If you’re hurt, put your back up. You didn’t see us put off the rest of the season to wait for Waddle. GOODBYE.”
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Setas deleted the message shortly after, but duplicated it with another tweet: “Whoops, did I say something you didn’t like that you would say if they changed it to us?”
Hours later, Setas apologized before deleting his account entirely.
“The tweet I posted tonight was inconvenient and painful,” he wrote. “In a moment of frustration, I let my anger take over and I acted before thinking. … In no way was it intended to undermine (sic) the severity of the global pandemic. … I am ashamed and ashamed. “
Setas is not the only person to make similar accusations regarding the coronavirus. Clemson’s coach Dabo Swinney claimed Florida State changed the COVID-19 numbers the week of their game as an excuse to avoid playing. ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit also claimed Michigan could “wave the white flag” and use false numbers to avoid playing rival Ohio State. (He later apologized and retracted the statement.)
Here’s everything you need to understand about Ohio State’s COVID-19 issues, Fields’ injury, and how they contributed to the Mushroom Twitter outbreak:
Justin Fields rib injury
The Setas indictment stems from the erroneous assumption that Ohio State was trying to buy time for quarterback Justin Fields to recover from injury – he was shot terrifyingly through the rib cage at the Sugar Bowl when Clemson’s linebacker James Skalski lowered his head and ran a spear through him. the back. The blow caused Fields to lie face down on the field while the coaches evaluated him; while play was on hiatus, Skalski was sent off for aiming.
Fields only missed one play after the hit, but he clearly felt pain for the rest of the game as he led the Buckeyes to a 49-28 victory. That said, Fields said he did not receive any diagnosis after the game.
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“They didn’t really tell me anything. I took a shot or two and just ran back,” Fields said (via USA Today). “But most of my right is sore. That’s a mess. And a little bit, my hip. But I didn’t really get a diagnosis at all.”
For what it’s worth, Ohio State coach Ryan Day said Tuesday that he “definitely” expects Fields to play. His quarterback said the same:
“I’ll be fine Monday night,” he said in a Zoom call Thursday.
Ohio State COVID-19 Cases
As for Ohio State’s COVID-19 cases, Day confirmed Thursday that the team was dealing with “a new set of challenges.” He did not specify which players or position group were affected by the disease, although the defensive line has reportedly had the worst of it.
“Well every time you deal with it and lose people, it’s a hit to the stomach,” Day said via Zoom on Thursday. “But it’s not something we’re not used to. We’ve played games with most of our offensive line. We played the Big Ten Championship game without our best receivers, or some of our best receivers. We’ve had starters all over the place at different times. moments, and we’ve found ways to fix it. It’s just been that way.
“And you can feel sorry for yourself or you can just keep working and get over it. The hard part is, at the end of the day, most people don’t really care. They just watch the game and the result is the result.” . “
Ohio State, and the Big Ten in general, have dealt with COVID-19 issues this season, resulting in three canceled games for the Buckeyes: Maryland, Illinois and Michigan. Those cancellations caused the team to drop below the Big Ten’s six-game eligibility threshold for the conference championship. The Big Ten waived that requirement when it was apparent that Ohio State (5-0 at the time and the conference’s best chance of reaching the CFP) wouldn’t otherwise.
The Big Ten on December 20 also announced a change to their COVID-19 security protocols, allowing diagnosed players to return after 17 days, four days less than the previous requirement of 21 days. Whether that has any effect on the game’s title remains to be seen; Ohio State does not confirm when players test positive for the coronavirus and will not release its list of unavailable players until championship night.
With that said, CFP CEO Bill Hancock, Ohio State and Alabama on Friday confirmed that the teams will play on Monday:
“Like I’ve said all week, the game is on,” Hancock told ESPN on Friday. “Nothing has changed. The Alabama team will travel to Miami tonight and the Ohio State guys will arrive tomorrow. We look forward to a great night for college football.”
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.