Voluntary on-campus activities to resume in football, basketball starting June 1, sources say
The NCAA Division I Council voted Wednesday to allow voluntary on-campus athletic activities to resume in football and men’s and women’s basketball, starting June 1, multiple sources confirmed to ESPN.
After the coronavirus pandemic forced the shutdown of sports across the country, the council banned all on-campus athletic activities. That moratorium was set to expire May 31.
Already, athletic directors are making plans to have athletes return to campus. Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said on a teleconference Wednesday that the school would allow voluntary workouts to resume on June 8, pending university approval.
SEC athletic directors are expected to meet with health experts on Thursday and then give a recommendation to university presidents and chancellors about whether they should begin a phased reopening or extend the moratorium on in-person, on-campus workouts. The presidents and chancellors are expected to make a decision when they meet Friday, multiple sources told ESPN. Other conferences, including the Big Ten and Big 12 are lining up similar calls.
One source added that the 40-member council ran out of time on its call and would explore allowing the same for other sports within the next week.
When student-athletes do return, they will find a new normal. Athletics officials are expected to lay out protocols to try and maintain a safe return, including small workout groups, maintaining social distancing, constant wiping down of equipment and the use of masks inside facility buildings. Many schools are making plans for a deep clean of their facilities before athletes return.
The news of the council’s vote was first reported by Yahoo Sports.