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“OL Masterminds Summit” proceeds in Texas this weekend

The Big Ten announced conference-only schedules for the upcoming season, but that move alone isn't enough as college football continues to grapple with COVID-19 precautions.

They’re calling it the “OL Masterminds Summit.” The litmus test as to whether the individuals participating are truly “masterminds” is whether they’ll realize that they shouldn’t attend.

Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News explains that the event, featuring 50 offensive lineman, will proceed as scheduled in Texas this weekend.

The event will mainly unfold in a hotel ballroom, according to Gehlken, along with on-field work at a walk-through pace. It’s the latest event involving NFL players to defy the recommendation of the NFL Players Association that no group workouts should occur until teams gather for training camps.

Expected in-person participants include Eagles tackle Lane Johnson, Saints tackle Terron Armstead, Jets tackle Mekhi Becton, Raiders tackle Trent Brown, Vikings center Garrett Bradbury, Buccaneers center Ryan Jensen, Saints center Erik McCoy, and Texans tackle Laremy Tunsil.

Special procedures will be implemented to limit the spread of the virus. Still, multiple players will be traveling into one of the world’s current COVID-19 hotbeds, staying there for multiple days, and then returning home.
“This was discussed for a long time,” Johnson told Gehlken. “We were thinking about maybe having it through Zoom. Some of the guidelines in Texas had changed. . . . Ultimately, I think masks will be required, and then we’ll all be staying at a hotel. . . . It’s something we don’t want to take lightly.”

Gehlken notes that liability waivers will be required, confirming the enhanced risk of proceeding.

Recently, Von Miller’s annual pass-rush summit happened virtually. Given the broader circumstances associated with football in a pandemic, that seems to be the much smarter play.