Ohio State's Football Move May Become New Normal

Players have to sign a COVID waiver
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2020 7:37 AM CDT
Ohio State's Football Move May Become New Normal
Ohio State coach Ryan Day watches players warm up for the team's Fiesta Bowl game against Clemson on Dec. 28, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz.   (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The world of college football in 2020: Players on one of the top teams in the nation must sign a COVID-19 waiver if they want to take the field. The Columbus Dispatch obtained a copy of what the school calls the Buckeye Pledge. It lays out safety protocols players must follow, but adds a big caveat—"although the university is following the coronavirus guidelines issued by the CDC and other experts to reduce the spread of infection, I can never be completely shielded from all risk of illness caused by COVID-19 or other infections." The school's athletic director says it's more about safety than liability.

"We don't look at that as a legal document," Gene Smith tells ESPN. If coaches see a student-athlete not wearing a mask or following social-distancing rules, "we can say, 'Hey, you made a commitment. You signed a pledge. Your parents signed a pledge. Your parents are a part of this.'" CBS News suggests this type of waiver could become the new norm in college football as schools navigate the best way to resume games this fall. (Read the latest COVID-19 stories.)

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