NCAA clears path for players’ return to campus June 1, SEC presidents vote Friday
An NCAA Division I Council vote on Wednesday clears the way for football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball to resume activities on campus on June 1, according to multiple reports.
The vote by the 40-member council lifts a moratorium that had been in place on all on-campus athletic activities through May 31.
State and local COVID-19 resocialization provisions remain in place, however, along with conference rules.
SEC presidents on deck
SEC administrators are expected to meet (virtually) with health officials on Thursday before the league presidents vote on return measures on Friday.
“That’s a medical decision,” South Carolina coach Will Muschamp told an ESPN Radio show in Charleston, S.C.,
“What’s the safest thing for us to get back to some normalcy? We are seeking their advice to tell us what we need to do.”
SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said as much from the onset.
“We will not determine the timeline, the virus will determine the timeline,” Sankey said on the SEC Network, quoting Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute on Allergies and Infectious Diseases.
“We’re going to rely exactly on our public health officials, at the national levels, state levels, and around our campuses and communities, to guide us toward a return to what we have known as normal.”
The Georgia Way
Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity has said that upon returning, the operative words will be “testing, tracing and treatment.”
There is not expected to be an NCAA mandate on required frequency or testing, per a YahooSports.com source.
Georgia president Jere Morehead has had nine groups working on issues the past three weeks in an effort to prepare his campus for players and students to safely return.
“There will obviously have to be some changes, and there will have to be some precautions,” Morehead said in an April WGAU interview. Morehead said the groups are working in the areas of: workplace safety, instruction, research, public service and outreach, student life, athletics and the fiscal impact.
Georgia senior receiver Demetris Robertson is one player optimistic the June 1 date will be passed. Robertson’s social media post indicates he’s eager to get back to working out on the UGA campus.
Heading back to Athens on June 1st like…⚡️ pic.twitter.com/Icp18mMKL1
— Demetris Robertson (@d_rob4) May 20, 2020
The workouts student-athletes are cleared for at this time are voluntary in nature, Sports Illustrated reports, with no on-field coaches having any interaction.
Strength staff members, however, are expected to be allowed to supervise activity.
Around the horn
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said on a Wednesday video call that the Buckeyes set a potential return date of June 8, per Bucknuts.
NCAA president Mark Emmert said last week he would not legislate a uniform return from conference to conference, aware the pandemic rate and recovery statistics vary.
Sports Illustrated reported last week that conference commissioners had reached a consensus on a six-week training camp in effect by mid-July for the season to start on time.
The six weeks had been recommended by the NCAA oversight committee, as previously reported by DawgNation.
Yahoo Sports cites sources that the Division I Council will address the return of other sports “as soon as possible,” perhaps “within the next week.”
One-time transfer movement
Stadium reported on Wednesday that the Division I Council voted to develop legislation that could enable one-time transfer eligibility starting in the fall of 2021.
One-time transfer waivers are dead until at least 2021-22 academic year, sources told @Stadium, as NCAA Division I Council approved a resolution to develop legislation regarding transfer eligibility for January 2021 that would not be effective until 2021-22 academic year
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) May 20, 2020
The NCAA Board of Governors approved proposed rules changes in April that allow for third-party compensation for student athletes related to the usage of their name, image or likeness.
The new legislation is expected to be in place by next January, and take effect in the fall semester of 2021.
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