Ohio State, like football programs across the country, is trying to navigate a return to campus amid the coronavirus outbreak.  Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State football players were cleared to return to campus earlier this week for voluntary workouts, but the school wants to make sure they understand the risks associated with taking part in group activities.

Joey Kaufman of The Columbus Dispatch obtained a copy of an acknowledgement of risk waiver Ohio State players were required to sign in order to take part in workouts on campus. The two-page document, which is referred to as The Buckeye Pledge, outlines the health risks involved with taking part in workouts and being around other student-athletes. The so-called pledge urged players to adhere to health and safety regulations and “pledge to take responsibility for my own health and help stop the spread of the COVID-19.”

The document specifically warns athletes that they “can never be completely shielded from all risk of illness caused by COVID-19 or other infections,” even though the school is taking all precautions recommended by the CDC. It’s unclear if having players sign the waiver protects Ohio State from any potential backlash if a player contracts the coronavirus.

Indiana had its players sign similar paperwork that included expectations and a commitment pledge related to COVID-19, according to the Dispatch.

Several players across the country have tested positive for the coronavirus upon returning to campus, and there are sure to be others. 

One top college coach already spoke about how his program has fallen behind due to the pandemic, so you know coaches are anxious to get back to work. With college players not earning salaries like pro athletes, the situation for the NCAA could be a lot more complicated than it is for pro leagues.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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