COLUMBUS, Ohio — Editor's note: the Locked On Buckeyes podcast in the video player above is from Feb. 24, 2021.
Ahead of the start of Spring Football, the Ohio State football program is delaying team activities for a one-week period due to a recent increase in positive coronavirus (COVID-19) tests.
Additionally, the school has closed the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. The decision to pause team activities was made by Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith and team physician Dr. Jim Borchers "out of an abundance of caution and with the health, safety and well-being of the student-athletes, coaches and football and facility support staff as the highest priority."
“Our decisions on the welfare of our student-athletes, staff members and those coming to our campus, and our determination as to when we will reopen and resume activities, will continue to be guided by our medical staff,” Smith said in a statement released on Tuesday.
“We have been successful in safely hosting nearly 100 athletic events on campus this year with limited disruptions, but this pandemic is not over. We will continue to stress the safety measures of wearing masks, consistent and thorough hand washing and physical distancing and we will remain vigilant in those areas.”
Despite the delay, the team said that it remains on track to begin Spring Football drills on March 19. With three regular-season games canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19 outbreaks, the Buckeyes amassed a 7-1 record, losing to Alabama in the College Football Playoff Championship Game.