May 20 (UPI) — The NCAA Division I Council voted Wednesday to allow the resumption of voluntary on-campus athletic activities in football and men’s and women’s basketball beginning June 1.
After the coronavirus pandemic forced sports across the United States to suspend play, the NCAA council prohibited all on-campus workouts. That ban was set to expire at the end of May.
The NCAA said it reached a decision after a virtual meeting Wednesday. The organization said the status of other sports will be decided through an electronic vote at a later date.
“We encourage each school to use its discretion to make the best decisions possible for football and basketball student-athletes within the appropriate re-socialization framework,” said council chair M. Grace Calhoun, the athletic director at Penn.
“Allowing for voluntary athletics activity acknowledges that reopening our campuses will be an individual decision but should be based on advice from medical experts.”
Voluntary on-campus workouts must be initiated by the student-athlete, according to the NCAA. Coaches are barred from being present unless a sport-specific safety exception allows it, and the activities can’t be directed by a coach or reported back to a member of the coaching staff.
Athletic directors around the country are already making plans to have student-athletes return to campus. Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith told reporters on a conference call Wednesday that the school will permit voluntary workouts to resume June 8, pending university approval.
Also Wednesday, Wyoming announced it will allow football and basketball players to return to campus beginning June 1. The university is only allowing a limited number of student-athletes to return, and those coming back must finish a 14-day quarantine and take a COVID-19 test before being allowed into any facility.