FILE - In this March 14, 2012, file photo, a player runs across the NCAA logo during practice in Pittsburgh before an NCAA tournament college basketball game. The number of teams facing postseason bans because of low scores on the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate has nearly doubled in one year. Fifteen teams could face the most severe sanction next season compared with eight in 2019-20. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

NCAA Votes to Allow Returns to Campus

Voluntary athletic activities for football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball can resume starting June 1. The NCAA DI Council approved the vote on May 20. The committee said that decisions on other sports will be made at a later date.

Athletes will be able to return for the first time since the coronavirus put sports on hold. 

According to ESPN, the SEC is still working on a reopen plan. The plan is to meet with health experts, then make recommendations to university presidents and chancellors. Presidents and Chancellors will make their decisions in a meeting on Friday.

“We encourage each school to use its discretion to make the best decisions possible for football and basketball student-athletes within the appropriate resocialization framework,” said Council chair M. Grace Calhoun, athletics director at Pennsylvania. “Allowing for voluntary athletics activity acknowledges that reopening our campuses will be an individual decision but should be based on advice from medical experts.”

Additionally, Council members extended the blanket waiver.  This will allow teams in those sports to require eight hours per week of virtual nonphysical activities through the end of June. This makes it easier for student-athletes and coaches who cannot return to campus.

Returning to a New Normal

When athletes do return to campus, things will be a little different. There will likely be changes for safety purposes. Some examples include practicing in smaller groups, cleaning of equipment and the wearing of masks. There is likely to be a deep cleaning of facilities before anyone returns.

Other Decision Agreed Upon

The NCAA approved of certain waivers to help schools and its teams navigate the coronavirus. According to the NCAA’s website, the following waivers were agreed upon:

  • Waiving the minimum football attendance requirement for Football Bowl Subdivision members for two years.
  • The waiving of the minimum required contests against specific opponents.
  • Changes to financial aid minimums for the next three years.

About Harrison Smajovits

Harrison is a sports coordinator at ESPN 98.1 FM/850 AM WRUF. He served as a beat writer for Florida Gators football for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. He also contributes to WRUF's Gainesville Sports Center segments and makes appearances on the Clash on Harp on Sports. Harrison has been a content writer for WRUF since January 2019 as well.

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