Ohio State Buckeyes return to workouts for first time since March

Players started arriving at Woody Hayes Athletic Center at 6:30 a.m. Monday

Josh Myers entered the Woody Hayes Athletic Center with a group of fellow offensive linemen around 7:30 a.m. Monday and left two hours later with a box of clothes and shoes.

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That was one sign of how different things will be this summer for the Ohio State Buckeyes, who return to voluntary workouts this week for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic shut down the sports world in March. Among the many guidelines for the players is the instruction to dress and undress for workouts at home and bring used workout gear back each day for daily cleaning by the equipment staff.

In order to limit the chance of spreading COVID-19, Ohio State players must undergo daily temperature checks upon arrival, wash their hands before and after each workout and stay six feet away from teammates. Those are just a few of the points of emphasis.

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Players entered the Woody on Monday wearing masks. A number of reporters and photographers watched from the parking lot, taking photos of each player as they entered and left the facility.

Ohio State coach Ryan Day waved to reporters as he entered the building just after 8 a.m. The specialists were the first players to arrive at 6:30 a.m. Players staggered their arrivals by the hour, for the most part, and were grouped by position.

Other Ohio State athletes will return to campus workouts later this month.

The men’s and women’s basketball teams will return for voluntary workouts on June 15 at the Schottenstein Center.

The men’s and women’s soccer teams, field hockey team and women’s volleyball team will return on June 22 to the Schumaker Complex for voluntary workouts.

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For Ohio State football players, workouts will take place in the weight room and at three different locations on the indoor field or on the outdoor fields as much as possible. Players won’t have access to the locker room, showers, players’ lounge and its amenities or the dining area. The training room will be available by appointment only.

Coaches and staff face many of the same restrictions and will also have to wear face coverings when interacting with players, especially indoors.

Because the workouts are voluntary, players will work out with performance coaches, trainers and managers. Coaches will not present for the workouts but can spend up to eight hours per week in virtual meetings and film sessions with players.

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