The already-small crowds at Ohio Stadium are about to get smaller.
Wednesday afternoon, the school announced that it would not allow any families of players or coaches to attend Saturday’s game against Indiana. That comes in the wake of a dramatic rise in the number of COVID-19 cases across the state of Ohio.
The full release from Ohio State is below.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State University Department of Athletics has determined that family members of the players and coaching staffs of teams competing this fall will no longer be permitted into any university sporting event. The decision is immediate and means no family members will be in Ohio Stadium Saturday when Ohio State and Indiana meet at noon.
The decision by the department to not allow any fans aligns with the Columbus Department of Health’s stay at home advisory, which was issued Wednesday. The advisory starts at 6 p.m. Friday and will remain in place for the next 28 days.
The Department of Athletics will continue to work with state and local health officials on protocols and adjustments for hosting events during the pandemic. The decision not to allow families at football games will be reevaluated prior to Ohio State’s final home football game of the season, Dec. 12 against the University of Michigan. The decision not to allow families will, however, stay in place for all of the Ohio State men’s and women’s basketball and hockey home games that are either scheduled, or in the process of being scheduled, through the remainder of 2020.
“The health and safety of student-athletes, coaches, spectators and event staff is our top priority,” Gene Smith, Director of Athletics, said. “We had hoped to continue to allow family members of our student-athletes and coaching staffs to be able to attend games, but circumstances around this pandemic are prompting us to adjust, just as it has throughout the past eight months. We appreciate everyone’s understanding and we will continue to do what is in the best interests of everyone involved.”
A limited number of media will be allowed to document the game from the press box. FOX will televise the game to a national audience.