Ohio State's home game against Indiana on Saturday will be played without any fans in attendance.
Due to the stay-at-home advisory that was issued by the Columbus Department of Health on Wednesday, Ohio State has determined that family members of players and coaches will no longer be permitted to attend games, the university announced in a news release on Wednesday.
As a result of the advisory, which starts at 6 p.m. Friday and will remain in effect for the next 28 days, family members will also not be allowed to attend any of Ohio State's basketball or hockey home games for the remainder of 2020. However, the decision not to allow family members at football games will be reevaluated prior to the final home game against Michigan on Dec. 12.
“The health and safety of student-athletes, coaches, spectators and event staff is our top priority,” Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said in a statement. “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.”
Numerous parents of Ohio State players reacted on social media upon hearing the news.
Parents of @OSUFootball players are sad to learn we cannot attend this weekend's game against Indiana. We will be cheering for our boys from our couches! Go Bucks! Stay safe. Wear a mask. https://t.co/2AvDzomVGP— FPAOS Family Unit (@fpaos_board) November 18, 2020
I’m very frustrated with Franklin County. I only see Paris on the football field waving to him from a distance. We as OSU parents have committed to keep our distance from the boys so we don’t contaminate the bubble. Now Franklin County takes this away too?!?!— Monica Johnson (@MonicaCLJohnson) November 18, 2020
Although I’m thankful for a season. Not being in the stands, after being at the last 3 games, is heartbreaking The wave from the field at the end of the game was what all parents looked forward to. That was our sacrifice and now we can’t even get that.— Amanda Peterson Babb (@AmandaBabb1) November 19, 2020
No fans/family at The Shoe this weekend!— Nanjwerner (@nanjwerner) November 18, 2020
No fans pic.twitter.com/NEEuChzUU0— Dawand Jones (@dawandj79) November 18, 2020
Ohio Stadium's capacity had previously been capped at 1,600 people for the first two home games, with 656 family guests of Ohio State players and coaches and up to 400 guests of the visiting team's players and coaches permitted to attend. Members of the general public, as well as the Ohio State marching band and cheerleaders, have not been permitted to attend any games this season due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, however, the restrictions have become even tighter, though a limited number of media will still be allowed to attend while the game will still be broadcast on Fox.