SEC includes task force ‘blueprint’ for safe return to campus activity

Auburn officials react to SEC allowing in-person athletics to resume

Top Story Auburn officials react to SEC allowing in-person athletics to resume Gus Malzahn

Ohio State announced it would reopen campus on June 9 and IL said athletes would be allowed to return to school on June 3.

SEC athletes are being allowed to return to campus for voluntary workouts beginning on June 8, after school presidents voted on the matter in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Organized practices and other required physical activities remain prohibited in all sports.

"At this time, we are preparing to begin the fall sports season as now scheduled, and this limited resumption of voluntary athletic activities on June 8 is an important initial step in that process", SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said.

On Wednesday, the NCAA Council gave the OK to resume on June 1. "I expect that at some point down the road the NCAA and SEC will allow student-athletes".

"For well over a month, our internal Mizzou Sports Park repopulation committee has worked with MU Health Care, University, city and county officials to design a comprehensive plan for safely bringing student-athletes back to campus next month in anticipation of resuming workouts". Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said it was "only the first step with further details and plans coming over the next several days and weeks". We will not compromise the safety and well-being of our student-athletes in this process, taking all possible precautions. Earlier in the day, the SEC approved a return date of June 8.

Certain activities will be permitted on the ability to participate in controlled and safe environments, under plans developed by each university, while maintaining social distancing guidelines.

Facilities will reopen with a number of enhanced safety protocols in place, including educational sessions on best practices for preventing the spread of COVID-19, a thorough health screening process for athletes and testing of those who display symptoms.

"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.

"The safe and healthy return of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators and our greater university communities have been and will continue to serve as our guiding principle as we navigate this complex and constantly-evolving situation", Sankey said in Friday's release. "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". Florida announced that it also would be testing all of its athletes. Abbott has already issued new rules to allow youth sports leagues to resume in June and for some professional leagues to hold events without spectators.

Could college football actually be starting on time? "What we don't know is what the capacity level would be".

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