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Ohio State asked football players sign coronavirus risk waivers

Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

College football teams across the country are trying to navigate how to return to action during the coronavirus pandemic, and one of the sport’s biggest names is taking some heat for its approach. According to ESPN, Ohio State football players and their families were asked to sign a COVID-19 risk waiver before arriving back on campus for voluntary workouts.

The “Buckeye Pledge,” obtained by ESPN and other media outlets, asks players to “help stop the spread of the COVID-19” and accept “I may be exposed to COVID-19 and other infections.” By signing the two-page electronic pledge, players agree to testing and potential self-quarantining, monitoring for symptoms, reporting any potential exposure in a timely manner and to practice Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, such as wearing a mask and practicing social distancing.

The waiver states “any failure to comply with my Buckeye Pledge above may lead to immediate removal of athletic participation privileges (not my athletics scholarship) and/or the inability to use athletics facilities.”

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith claims the waiver is intended to encourage responsibility when it comes to the virus, not minimize the university’s liability, but that’s a CYA move if I’ve ever seen one. It also really hammers home the hypocrisy of amateurism in that we’re not only asking players to risk their health by coming back and creating millions of dollars of revenue in exchange for a scholarship and a stipend, but we’re making them sign something so they won’t sue us.

Smith got the idea from Indiana athletic director Fred Glass, who created the “Participant Expectations and Commitment Pledge” for Hoosier football players and their families.

According to the waiver, the athletes and their parents “understand COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus and it is possible to develop and contract the COVID-19 disease, even if I follow all of the safety precautions above and those recommended by the CDC, local health department, and others. I understand that 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.”

Pledge is to waiver as student-athlete is to player, I guess.


Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

10 Comments for Ohio State asked football players sign coronavirus risk waivers

  1. Bluebloodtoo
    3:09 pm June 15, 2020 Permalink

    Wow. That’s sad. You need to come play for us, even though it’s a health risk. But we will only allow that if you agree not to hold us accountable if you get sick and die.

  2. JEUofK
    4:02 pm June 15, 2020 Permalink

    That’s a terrific first step. Now have all the fans, band, cheerleaders, etc. sign one so we can fill stadiums and get infected quicker. Will strengthen our immune systems.

    Older fans and ones with health risks may think twice about attending games with those of us under 65.

    • Bluehender
      7:00 am June 16, 2020 Permalink

      You’re an idiot..and an a$$hole

    • CJKAssassin123
      12:30 pm June 16, 2020 Permalink

      I think he was being sarcastic and a smart ass at the same time.

  3. T-Town Cat
    7:59 pm June 15, 2020 Permalink

    Don’t you think this pledge is meant to apply if/when the student-athlete leaves the protected “bubble” the schools have spent millions on to safeguard their health? The school can’t be held liable if the players go off campus to parties, bars, etc where they are not under the control of the university.

  4. Lip Man 1
    8:44 pm June 15, 2020 Permalink

    Yet there are idiots out there (and yes that’s what they are) that are willing to risk kids lives so they can get their jollies off watching football or basketball or any other sport. And again I make my living doing games, but to me, its not worth risking one kids life when we as a nation CAN EASILY survive without ANY sports until January 2021 when CBB can restart playing only conference games.

    The AP is reporting today “several” MLB players and staff have tested positive for the virus.

    The NFL Network is reporting today that a number of Cowboy and Texan players have tested positive.

    Just how in the hell can any team, pro or college play with a bunch of their guys out? Riddle me that Batman?

    This is just friggin’ nuts.