Ohio State Football No Longer Permitting Family Members to Attend on Saturday

Brendan Gulick

Ohio State is preparing for arguably its biggest game of the season on Saturday against Indiana and there will be nobody there to see it.

Literally, nobody.

In accordance with the Columbus Department of Health's stay-at-home advisory issued on Wednesday, which is scheduled to take effect on Friday, The Ohio State University has determined that it's no longer safe for family members of players and coaches to attend games.

Beginning on Friday, November 20, 2020 at 6 P.M., the Health Commissioner for the City of  Columbus, Dr. Mysheika W. Roberts, and the Health Commissioner for Franklin County Public Health, Joe Mazzola, advise all residents of Columbus and Franklin County to stay at home due to the rapid rise of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the city and county. Residents are advised to only leave home to go to work or school, or for essential needs such as seeking medical care, going to the grocery store or pharmacy, picking up food, or receiving deliveries.

As a result, all home games on campus (football, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's ice hockey) will be held in front of no fans. While this 28-day window would include Ohio State's rivalry game against Michigan on December 12, the decision not to allow families at football games will be reevaluated prior to that game.

“The health and safety of student-athletes, coaches, spectators and event staff is our top priority,” Gene Smith, Director of Athletics, said in a statement issued by the school. “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.”

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