The coronavirus pandemic has taught us one important thing: the virus itself creates the timeline for all of us to return to normalcy. Unfortunately, some individuals think they're smarter than the medical experts and public health officials, and are urging everyone to go back to their everyday lives like nothing ever happened.
You can put Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith into at least the borderline of that group.
In a teleconference call on Wednesday, Smith said he's confident that a plan can be put in place that will allow 20,000-30,000 fans to attend Buckeyes football games inside Ohio Stadium this fall.
Safe to say Smith took a page out of the Miami Dolphins' playbook. Allowing upwards of 30,000 people in a confined space is far from healthy, and it seems unlikely we'll be in that place by September. Ohio Stadium would become a literal petri dish, which could result in a spike in COVID-19 cases. But of course, Smith's attendance plan comes after reports stated that Ohio State could lose $50 million if they play games without fans.
On Tuesday, reports indicated that Ohio State will allow football players to return to campus on June 8. Smith stresses that workouts will not be mandatory, and that the program will follow the proper health protocols to ensure the safety of its student athletes. In fact, masks will be mandatory, and workout groups can include no more than 10 individuals. Only Ohio State's strength and conditioning staff would be present on campus.
The plan isn't finalized, though, as Ohio State needs approval from both the Big Ten conference and the NCAA, which is expected to come on Wednesday afternoon.
While Ohio State and other college football programs are confident in a season happening on schedule, bringing in tens of thousands of fans is the worst thing they can do. We'd like to call this wishful thinking on Smith's part.