Ryan Day and CJ Stroud

To most college players and coaches, ESPN’s College Football Awards show is quite an honor that they would never dream of skipping. But as Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day revealed this week, sometimes prestigious honors and accolades simply get in the way of more important things – like recruiting a generational quarterback to your team.

Back in 2019, Ohio State was undefeated and boasted one of the top teams in the country heading into the college football playoff. As a result of the team’s loaded roster, Buckeye stars Justin Fields, Chase Young, J.K. Dobbins, and Jeff Okudah were all invited to attend ESPN’s Home Depot College Football Awards.

Ryan Day was supposed to attend the event, as well, but he skipped the event. Several years later, we finally know why: he was making a recruiting visit to current Ohio State star quarterback C.J. Stroud.

During his press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Day revealed that he was actually fined for skipping the ESPN event. But given how Stroud’s career has gone, Day said “it was worth it.”

While Day did not clarify who exactly fined him for his absence, it’s likely that the head coach was fined by Ohio State as “media obligations” are a part of Day’s contract with the school. And it’s not a small amount of money, either. For example, this season, Day is set to be paid $436,666.67 for his media obligations, according to 247Sports.

Day also did not disclose the size of the fine. But based on Stroud’s performance as a legitimate Heisman Trophy contender this season, it’s safe to say it was worth it – whatever it was.

[Dan Hope]