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.
Sources: The NCAA Division I Council voted to approve voluntary athletic activities in football, MBB and WBB to start June 1st and go through June 30th. There had been a moratorium on that through May 31st. Other sports will be acted on on a later date.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) May 20, 2020
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.