ATHENS — Southeastern Conference presidents are expected to vote later this month on when to bring student-athletes back to campus in June.
LSU executive deputy director Verge Ausberry told the Louisiana Economic Recovery Task Force on Thursday the vote would take place on May 22, according to the Baton Rouge Advocate. Ausberry later told the newspaper the vote would happen on an undetermined date.
The dates for the potential return of students are June 1 and June 15.
The reality of college football appears to be gaining momentum.
West Virginia president Gordon Gee said on Wednesday there would be football in the fall, “Even if I have to suit up.”
Louisiana, like Georgia, is in the process of “opening up.”
Ausberry made the point student-athletes could be safer in controlled on-campus settings better than in gyms in their home community.
“We would rather our football players and student-athletes to all work out here on our campus and we can manage that,” Ausberry said. “That’s what we’re trying to do, the big piece of this, to bring everybody back.”
College Football Hall of Fame Coach Gene Stallings made the same point in an interview with DawgNation last month.
“I’d rather have my players around me and our doctors and team facilities,” Stallings said, “rather than scattered around the country where we can’t take care of them.”
SEC commissioner Greg Sankey has gone to great lengths to stress the fluidity of the COVID-19 pandemic recovery, avoiding hypotheticals and setting any timelines in stone.
As the scheduled start for the regular season and fall camp approaches, however, more and more university administrators, athletic directors and conference commissioners have spoken up.
Governors dictate the re-socialization policies for their respective states, complicating matters even more as the NCAA looks for as much uniformity as possible.
Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity told DawgNation on Thursday that the June 1 and June 15 dates are just two of many proposals.
Indeed, McGarity, like Sankey, is a proponent of gathering as much information as possible before any decisions are made.
One of the many proposals the University of Georgia was once considering, McGarity confirmed, was for the UGA players and coaches to report back to campus and being quarantined for two weeks at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education and Hotel on campus.
There are several other issues that need to be settled as to how the students and student-athletes return to campus.
UGA president Jere Morehead has assembled nine different committees to study how the school can best make a safe and successful return amid social distancing and other federal and state provisions.
The NCAA oversight committee has advocated for a minimum of six weeks of preparation time for student-athletes to train before the start of their respective seasons.
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