Gene Smith Media Teleconference
All activities suspended until at least April 6; Ohio State NFL Pro Day is postponed
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Big Ten Conference announced today all organized team activities for its member schools have been suspended until April 6, 2020, and will be re-evaluated at that time. This announcement comes after a number of major announcements already this week, including
- The Big Ten canceling all conference and non-conference competitions through the end of the academic year, including spring sports that compete beyond the academic year, and participation in all NCAA tournaments and competitions;
- A conference moratorium on all on- and off-campus recruiting activities for the foreseeable future;
- The NCAA canceling its remaining winter and spring championships; and
- New Ohio State University guidelines of virtual instruction/distance methods of learning for the remainder of the spring semester; a scheduled process for students who live in campus housing to move out of the residence halls; and an extension of spring break by one week through Sunday, March 22.
All of these decisions are in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and are in line with the priorities of health, safety and wellness for student-athletes, students, coaches, administrators, fans, media, campus and community populations.
So what does this mean for the Ohio State student-athletes, coaches, programs and staff members?
- There will be no spring practices held … at least until April 6 and possibly longer.
- All athletic facilities will be closed. Student-athletes will have until this Monday at 5 p.m. to clear out their lockers.
- Student-athletes will be encouraged to stay home and complete the academic semester through the university’s distance methods of learning.
- Those student-athletes in residence halls will have to physically move all of their belongings out of their rooms by March 22.
- Student-athletes who live off-campus or are from the central Ohio region will not have access to any facilities, such as locker, weight and training rooms.
- Student-athletes will work with athletic training staff for coordination on rehabilitation and treatment options and alternative locations.
- The football spring game had already been canceled.
- Ohio State’s NFL Pro Day will be postponed until further notice.
The canceling of all conference and non-conference competitions put an immediate end to the seasons of 27 Ohio State sports: the sports of men’s and women’s basketball, golf, hockey, fencing, gymnastics, lacrosse, pistol, tennis, swimming and diving, track and field and baseball, rifle, rowing, softball, synchronized swimming, men’s volleyball and wrestling.
Refunds for fans who have purchased tickets to Ohio State sporting events, beginning with the women’s gymnastics meet Saturday against Pittsburgh, will be processed as follows: Tickets purchased online or via phone will be automatically refunded within five to seven business days; tickets purchased in person can be returned to the point of purchase for a full refund.
What do I need to do regarding coronavirus?
The university launched a website with information about the coronavirus as well as an email account to which general questions about the coronavirus can be directed: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In general, practicing routine hygiene etiquette and maintaining a healthy immune system are the best ways to prevent the spread of infection:
- Stay home when you are sick and keep a safe six-foot distance from others to prevent disease spread.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when you sneeze or cough, and throw away your tissue after one use.
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water (20 seconds or longer) and use alcohol hand rub as a backup.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands or after touching surfaces.
- Frequently clean and disinfect “high-touch” surfaces.
- Anyone who is seriously ill should seek medical advice from a health care provider or emergency department.