Ohio State football players return to campus for voluntary workouts Monday, and the Department of Athletics outlined a plan to make the student-athletes’ transition back as safe as possible.
The department issued more than 30 rules regarding the return, including COVID-19 testing, daily temperature and symptom screenings, and physical distancing requirements, among others. On May 20, the NCAA Division I Council approved the return of on-campus voluntary football and basketball activities beginning June 1.
Football players will have between 6:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. for voluntary workouts at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center with social distancing of 6 feet enforced at the facility. Temperature checks and symptom surveys will precede each workout and equipment will be thoroughly cleaned after each group of athletes is finished.
The locker room, showers, players’ lounge and dining area will not be available. Coaches will not be present for voluntary workouts, but they are allowed to participate in eight hours per week of virtual meetings.
Upon their return to campus, student-athletes must complete a physical examination administered by Ohio State physicians. They will also be tested for COVID-19 and quarantine until test results are made available.
If a student-athlete tests positive for the coronavirus, they will be forced to self-isolate for at least 14 days and receive daily checkups by the Department of Athletics medical staff. If they live with a roommate, they will be provided a designated room on campus to self-isolate.
There will also be a focus on educating student-athletes on how to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Student-athletes will have access to modules and videos regarding safe physical distance practices.
Members of the men’s and women’s basketball teams will be allowed to return June 15 to work at the Schottenstein Center. June 22 will mark a return to voluntary workouts for the men’s and women’s soccer teams, field hockey team, and women’s volleyball team at the Schumaker Complex.