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Big Ten football to resume; helps Fort Wayne native OSU player to keep dreams alive, provide for family

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) - Officials with the Big Ten Conference announced the Big Ten season will resume. A Fort Wayne native college-athlete said this will help keep his dreams alive to provide for his family.

Big Ten Conference leaders made the announcement on Wednesday. This comes after their original decision to delay the season because of the COVID-19 crisis.

Fort Wayne's NBC News talked with Shabaka Ra Ma'at, father of Craig Young, who plays football at Ohio State University, to get his thoughts on the news.

Ra Ma'at said his son, Craig, was a graduate of Wayne High School and plays linebacker at the university. He said his son's passion for the game goes beyond the gridiron.

"Craig is a father, and for him, he does it for his daughter, and to get to that next level for him is something big," Ra Ma'at said.

Ra Ma'at said structure is key to helping students become successful in life, and football provides that.

"A lot of kids, if they don't have structure into their lives like this, they tend to come home, they tend to get in a lot of trouble at home. And these are good kids we're talking about," Ra Ma'at said.

Fort Wayne's NBC News talked with Ra Ma'at's son, Craig to get his thoughts.

"Where I'm from, sports is all we got, and if it's not sports, it's the streets or dead," said Craig Young.

Young said the decision to bring Big Ten football back will help him pursue his dream of reaching the NFL. He said by competing in the fall, it will allow the university to compete for a national championship, which allows him and other players to get more exposure and recognition. As a result, he said this can help him reach his goals and provide for his family.

"This would mean a lot to my daughter, especially to me," said Young.

"I want people to know these kids do more than play football," Ra Ma'at said. "These kids are fathers. These kids are uncles. These kids are big brothers. These kids are the caregivers to their families."

For more details on the Big Ten's decision, please click here.

Louie Tran

Louie Tran is the weekend anchor for Fort Wayne’s NBC at 6 and 11pm and a weekday general assignment reporter. To share story ideas, please email him at ltran@wpta21.com.

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