Ohio State Football Staff Returning to Woody Hayes Athletic Center This Week in Limited Capacity

By Dan Hope on May 18, 2020 at 7:27 pm
Brian Hartline

Ohio State's football staff began its return to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Monday.

A limited number of Ohio State football coaches and support staff are transitioning back to work in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center this week, an Ohio State spokesperson confirmed Monday after wide receivers coach Brian Hartline posted a picture from his office on Monday morning.

Per a statement provided to Eleven Warriors, all staff entering the Woody Hayes Athletic Center will “take a daily symptom assessment, including having their temperature taken. Staff will follow physical distance guidelines, wear face coverings when together, and will be strictly limited in terms of available offices and maximum number of individuals in a room.”

Ohio State's weight room, training room, dining area, indoor practice facility and locker room all remain closed, and student-athletes have not yet been cleared to return to athletic facilities.

An Ohio State spokesperson told Eleven Warriors that 25 total staff members – 13 on offense and 12 on defense – are allowed to return to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center at this time. They will be in the building at staggered times and only three days per week for three hours per day, with no more than 10 staff members allowed in any meeting rooms at the same time.

As of now, all organized team activities are suspended by the Big Ten until at least June 1. The NCAA's Division I Council is expected to vote Wednesday on ending the moratorium on on-campus activities beginning June 1, which could open the door for student-athletes to return to at least voluntary workouts, if not required training with staff, according to Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger. Per ESPN's Adam Rittenberg, the Big Ten is expected to make decisions on its return to sports during the conference's annual meeting of university presidents and chancellors on June 7.

Ohio State, which is expected to make an announcement on its fall semester plans by mid-June, has canceled all university events through July 6. The university remains in a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Non-essential university employees are to continue teleworking and remain off campus,” according to a news release by the university on Saturday, but “a limited number of essential academic and clinical operations have resumed.”

Prior to this week, all Ohio State football coaches and staff members had been working from home since organized team activities were suspended in March due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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