Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith says the Buckeyes still plan to play for the college football championship next Monday. Smith spoke to several media outlets following reports that the game could be postponed because of COVID-19 issues within the Ohio State football team.
College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock says the national championship game between Alabama and Ohio State is still a go for Monday night.
AL.com is reporting that Ohio State has been in contact with CFP officials about possible player availability problems related to COVID-19 that could force the game to be delayed. If the game is delayed, it would be played one week later on January 18.
A person with knowledge of the situation confirmed those discussions to the Associated Press. Smith says the Buckeyes continue to follow the same protocols they have all season and plan to play Monday in suburban Miami.
Ohio State has been dealing with COVID-19 among its players for much of the second half of the season. Coach Ryan Day tested positive in November and had to miss the team's matchup with Michigan State. The Buckyes canceled its game against Illinois on November 28 due to an outbreak of the virus within the program.
Then, for the Big Ten Championship game on December 19, Ohio State was without several starters, including star wide receiver Chris Olave.