Report: Ohio State Football Players Asked to Sign Waivers Acknowledging COVID-19 Risk

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Ohio State football players and their parents were asked to sign an acknowledgement of risk waiver about the coronavirus before returning to workouts on June 8, athletic director Gene Smith told ESPN's Heather Dinich on Sunday.

According to multiple reports, the document, called the "Buckeye Pledge," asks players to "help stop the spread of the COVID-19" and accept that, "I may be exposed to COVID-19 and other infections."

It adds that players who returned for voluntary workouts agree to testing and potential self-quarantining as well as says players agree to abide to Centers for Disease Control guidelines. 

A school spokesman told ESPN that every football player has signed the waiver. 

Smith told ESPN it is intended more for educational purposes than for liability reasons. 

"That's why we call it a pledge," he said. "We don't look at that as a legal document. It's a Buckeye pledge. Allow us to help you so that if we face a situation, our trainers, our strength coaches, our coaches or any athletic administrator sees a student-athlete not wearing a mask or not social distancing, we can say, 'Hey, you made a commitment. You signed a pledge. Your parents signed a pledge. Your parents are a part of this.'"

A spokesperson for OSU told Sports Illustrated's BuckeyesNow that, "the university is not sharing cumulative information publicly as it could inadvertently identify specific individuals." Per BuckeyesNow, Ohio State men’s and women’s basketball players are expected to resume on-campus workouts this week.

The Dallas Morning News' Sam Blum reported Monday that SMU'sOffice of Legal Counsel required student-athletes to agree that they could not hold the school liable for anything related to COVID-19 upon returning to school. It waives the students’ right to litigation. It is unclear, however, if the document, titled, "ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF RISK FOR COVID-19 SUMMER 2020," is legally binding.

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