Ohio State Requires Student Athletes To Sign Pledge Acknowledging COVID-19 Risk

Jun 15, 2020

As Ohio State student athletes return to campus, the university is asking them to sign a pledge acknowledging the risk of contracting COVID-19.

The so-called “Buckeye Pledge” asks student athletes to agree to COVID-19 testing, flu vaccinations and wearing masks in public spaces, among other measures.

"All members of Buckeye Nation have an important role to play in keeping our fellow students and the Ohio State community safe by doing our part to stop the spread of COVID-19," the document reads. "As a member of Buckeye Nation, I know that I must take steps to stay well in order to protect others and promote a safe return to campus for all Buckeyes."

A university spokesman says the pledge is intended to be an educational document, not a legal one. He says all university athletes have signed so far.

"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," it reads.

If student athletes do not sign or don’t comply, they may be removed from participating in sports or from using athletics facilities.

Members of the men's and women's basketball team on Monday were allowed to return to voluntary workouts at the Schottenstein Center, and the football team returned to practice last week.