SEC: Voluntary in-person athletic activities to resume in June

Modesto Morganelli
Mag 24, 2020

All five states in which Big 12 schools are located (Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Kansas and West Virginia) have allowed gyms to reopen in limited capacity.

If and when there is a football season this fall, the first step toward a potential timeline was taken Friday. University presidents and other top officials from SEC's 14 member schools reached the decision after consultations with conference leaders and public health experts.

During the month of June, NCAA regulations permit only strength and conditioning personnel to supervise voluntary on-campus athletics activities in the sports of football and men's & women's basketball.

The SEC announced Friday it will allow student-athletes to resume voluntary in-person athletic activities starting on June 8.

On Wednesday, the NCAA Council gave the OK to resume on June 1. Individual campuses will have discretion over those activities and be responsible for creating safety guidelines and supervision.

Permitted actions are limited by the NCAA to voluntary activities supervised by strength and conditioning personnel.

Defending national champion LSU said it will resume voluntary workouts for players on June 8 in accordance with the SEC decision. FBS coaches, including graduate assistants, are prohibited from working at football camps and clinics being held at other four-year NCAA schools. The decision brings to end a moratorium on such activities that was in place through May 31, with the ruling made in guidance with the conference's Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force. It stressed the need for controlled, safe environments and continued social distancing.

As part of the guidelines for reopening, student-athletes will be given a three-stage screening process that includes when they arrive on campus, within 72 hours of entering athletic facilities and on a daily basis of athletic 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. "We continue our planning for various scenarios and will continue to follow guidance from health officials, as well as our campus leadership and state leaders". "Our staff and student-athletes should be prepared for a 'new normal, ' as we'll be implementing changes to how everyone accesses and uses our facilities".

For example, even though the task force's recommendations only mentioned testing symptomatic team members, Georgia senior associate athletic director for sports medicine Ron Courson said in a statement that the Bulldogs "will conduct COVID testing and perform medical evaluations on all student-athletes".

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