UF reveals plan for student-athletes to resume athletic activities

Ruben Hill
May 23, 2020

As they do, they begin to form a picture of what we might expect to see in a few months: A college football season, but one unlike any we've ever seen.

The conference called the upcoming changes part of a "transition period" created to allow athletes to adapt back to a full training and activity regimen.

"At this time, we are preparing to begin the fall sports season as now scheduled, and this limited resumption of voluntary athletic activities on June 8 is an important initial step in that process". But in addition to most schools having spring football practice wiped out by the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, every school's spring conditioning program was shelved.

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said that his conference is preparing for an on-time start and that was echoed by Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott on CNN on Friday. During the workouts themselves, it will be under stringent supervision under university health officials and safety guidelines.

In June, NCAA rules allow only strength and conditioning coaches to monitor voluntary on-campus activities, which will continue to be the case.

It will be up to the schools to decide how to implement the workouts, and they must follow safety standards for the athletes.

The SEC made a decision to resume athletic activities with the guidance of a league task force that includes public health, infectious disease and sports medicine professionals from each of the league's 14 member schools. It stressed the need for controlled, safe environments and continued social distancing.

Those practices include educating team members on best practices for preventing the spread of COVID-19, a multi-stage screening before student-athletes arrive on campus and before activities begin, testing and isolation of team members with symptoms of COVID-19.

"Health and safety have been our top priority as we've gone about this planning process, and we'll continue to follow guidance from medical experts and health officials as we navigate the coming weeks", Tennessee athletic director Phillip Fulmer said. The decision comes after the NCAA Division I council approved a similar measure Wednesday, though its set return date was June 1.

It's not just football and basketball players who can return to their campuses and start voluntary workouts in June.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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