The NCAA on Wednesday reportedly took a major step toward the potential return of college sports.
According to Stadium’s Brett McMurphy and Yahoo! Sports’ Pete Thamel, the Association’s Division I Council voted to approve “voluntary athletic activities” for football and men’s basketball and women’s basketball as soon as June 1, thus, green lighting a return to campus for some student-athletes.
NCAA Division I Council voted to approve voluntary athletic activities in football, men’s and women’s basketball beginning June 1, sources told @Stadium. Also reported by Yahoo
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) May 20, 2020
Of course, colleges only will be inviting its athletes back for the targeted date if that complies with local government regulations. Frequency of testing also will be at the school and local government’s discretion, as the NCAA hasn’t laid out a specific mandate or protocol on tests, per Thamel.
The return will come in waves, with athletes who’ve quarantined local to their schools likely coming back first.
“Hypothetically, one athletic director said that means starting with 25 or 30 players in four separate groups amid a socially distanced weight room upon opening,” Thamel reported. “From there, players will be added to the groups as they return to campus. In theory, as one source laid out, a full squad could be around and working out in groups in July.”
The Division I Council will address other collegiate sports as well soon, anticipating more information as soon as next week.
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
With the college football scheduled to begin its Week 0 on Aug. 29, this vote serves as a glimmer of hope that the season starts, and potentially on time.
Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images