In just a little over two weeks from now, Ohio State football players will begin returning to campus.
On-campus voluntary workouts can resume on June 1 per the NCAA. Ohio State has set their return date for June 8.
With gatherings in Ohio still required to be relatively small, the current plans have the football team making use of the training areas in the weight room at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, as well as the attached Schumaker Complex, which is not yet two years old.
Having two complexes to work in will allow the strength coaches to get through an entire team in half the time, but it’s still going to be far from quick.
“So basically, X number of players will work out. Nine or 10,” Ohio State director of athletics Gene Smith said on Wednesday. “They’ll disappear. The room is cleaned and then another group comes in and they’ll work out. And then the room is cleaned, and so we think between the two facilities, over a day, we can get close to 50 athletes.”
Only a certain number of players will be allowed in either building at any given time and before they are permitted to enter, there will be some protocols, but no testing to see if any of the players currently have the coronavirus.
“They will have limited access to those facilities, student-athletes have to sign up,” Smith said. “They’ll go through protocols, not testing. They’ll go through protocols, temperature checks, and things of that nature. And then we have all the hygiene and sanitation requirements.”
It has been speculated that for sports to resume, there would need to be widespread testing of athletes. So far, that has not been the case.
“Again, we’ll wait for our medical experts on that at this point in time. It hasn’t been a directive that we have to do that,” Smith said. “So we will wait for our medical experts to give us advice on that.”
Asked on Wednesday what would happen if a player tested positive during the season, Smith said the decision-makers hadn’t gotten that far into the process yet, but that would be left up to the medical people.
On a smaller scale, that is also what Ohio State is doing regarding the return of players.
While they expect negative situations to be mitigated through the temperature checks and the rest of the protocols, if a player between now and the start of the season comes down with the coronavirus, they will again rely on the directives provided by the medical staff at Ohio State.
“I’ll use this example, so we have 15,000 square feet in the Woody Hayes and we’re gonna only have 10 young people in there, and so we feel pretty confident that through our symptoms checks and hygiene implementations, we should be fine,” Smith said.
“Now obviously if someone gets sick, then again we turn to our medical staff. And they’ll give us guidance on what to do next. So it may be that they decide we should shut it down. So, it depends. We have to rely on them and we go from there.”