SEC sets date for voluntary workouts in glimmer of college football hope

Henrietta Strickland
May 24, 2020

Earlier this week, the NCAA approved voluntary workouts to begin as early as June 1.

The Southeastern Conference says student-athletes can resume voluntary in-person activities on campus beginning June 8. Among those prospective dates were June 1, June 15, July 1 and July 15. Athletes will be "under strict supervision of designated university personnel and safety guidelines" created by each school. "I expect that at some point down the road the NCAA and SEC will allow student-athletes".

During the month of June, NCAA rules permit only strength and conditioning personnel to supervise athletics activities. We will not compromise the safety and well-being of our student-athletes in this process, taking all possible precautions.

Defending national champion LSU said it will resume voluntary workouts for players on June 8 in accordance with the SEC decision.

"Our administration has worked very hard to make sure that all of the necessary safety procedures and protocols are in place to keep our team safe and healthy", Tigers coach Ed Orgeron said.

Practices are prohibited, so football is back without footballs.

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. Under plans developed by each university and consistent with state and local health directives, certain activities will be permitted based on the ability to participate in controlled and safe environments, while also maintaining recommended social distancing measures.

A 3-stage screening process that involves screening before student-athletes arrive on campus, within 72 hours of entering athletics facilities and on a daily basis upon resumption of athletics activities.

"This phased approach is meant to permit gradual adoption of best practices for mitigation of COVID-19 as well as ensuring a safe environment and appropriately prepared facilities", the conference said in a statement.

"The guidance we have received from MU Health Care, as well as city and county officials, and the SEC's Medical Task Force", Sterk said, "has provided a roadmap that allows us to safely open our facilities for supervised voluntary activities while continuing to provide academic support, medical and mental health care, and meals to our student-athletes that they would not have access to if they were at home".

UGA director of sports medicine Ron Courson, who one year ago today (May 22) is credited with saving the life of Georgia quarterback D'Wan Mathis, represents UGA in task force. Florida announced that it also would be testing all of its athletes.

The Big 12 will allow the remaining fall-sports athletes (volleyball, soccer and cross country) to return July 1 with winter and spring sports having a July 15 target date.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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