Florida A&M student-athletes and the parents of those under 18 were required to sign an acknowledgment of risk agreement before returning to campus for offseason workouts, according to university president Larry Robinson.
An electronic version of the document labeled the “Student-Athlete Acknowledgement of Risk and Pledge” was emailed to HBCU Sports from Robinson on Monday as a response to a request for comment after learning the possibility of the document’s existence.
“The purpose of this process is to inform our students of the risks associated with COVID-19 and their responsibilities to mitigate the risk of transmission by adhering to University expectations, including cough and hand hygiene, wearing of facial coverings, and practicing appropriate social/physical distancing,” Robinson said in the email.
The form states that students pledge to protect themselves, their “peers, coaches, staff and the University community” by following a list of protocols that include social distancing, wearing facial coverings while on campus, and that they “maintain health insurance in accordance with University requirements.”
“I understand COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus and it is possible to develop and contract the COVID- 19 disease, even if I follow all of the safety precautions above and those recommended by the CDC, local health department, and others. I understand that although the University is following the COVID-19 guidelines issued by the CDC and Florida Department of Health to reduce the spread of infection, I can never be completely shielded from all risk of illness caused by COVID-19 or other infections, and the University cannot guarantee a COVID-19 free environment.” the document reads.
Students who sign the document agree that “failure to comply may be considered a violation of FAMU Athletics policies and procedures, team rules, and the Student Code of Conduct and subject me to appropriate discipline.”
On July 15, FAMU announced that nine student-athletes tested positive for COVID-19. In a release, the university said there was no on-campus transmission and that the results came from routine testing.
Following that announcement, HBCU Sports contacted athletic director Korte Gosha on July 22 to ask if the university required its student-athlete to sign a COVID-19 waiver, but Gosha didn’t respond.
HBCU Sports did receive a statement from Gosha after a second request for comment was made Monday through Brian Howard, the university’s sports information director.
“We are following the protocols required by the University and other SUS peers related to COVID-19,” Gosha said.
The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) announced on July 16 suspend all fall due to the coronavirus.
The full document can be viewed below.FAMU Athletics C-19 Acknowledgement Final