Ohio State players needed to sign a form acknowledging they were putting themselves at risk of catching the COVID-19 coronavirus when they returned for voluntary workouts this month.
The Columbus Dispatch obtained the waiver the school had players sign through a Freedom of Information Act request. Players 18 and over signed the waiver themselves and any incoming players who are under the age of 18 needed a guardian to sign the waiver.
The two-page document, obtained by The Dispatch through a public records request, outlines the health risks involved with workouts and other athletic activities, and calls for the athletes to follow strict health and safety protocols implemented by the school.
Referred to as a so-called Buckeye Pledge, it asks players to “pledge to take responsibility for my own health and help stop the spread of the COVID-19.”
It’s highly unlikely that Ohio State is the only school having players sign waivers like this. As schools are implementing social distancing measures so their players can resume activities as soon as possible, they’re also acutely aware of the liability risk. That liability risk is a huge reason why it’s unfathomable to expect college football stadiums full of fans this fall as the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the United States.
The governor of Texas told schools this week that they shouldn’t expect stadiums to be more than 50 percent full in the fall.
Houston had to stop workouts
The revelation that Ohio State is having players sign waivers comes after Houston announced Friday that it was suspending voluntary workouts after six players tested positive for coronavirus after showing symptoms. The school said it was changing its testing protocols going forward and the Houston Chronicle reported that Houston had only been testing symptomatic players when they returned to campus for workouts.
Houston is the first high-profile school to have to suspend its summer workouts, though numerous teams across the country have had players test positive for coronavirus.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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