The NCAA’s DI Council has voted to allow football and basketball to return to voluntary athletics activities beginning June 1.
The decision, which was approved yesterday during a virtual meeting, allows all Division I football and basketball student-athletes to participate in on-campus voluntary athletics activities as long as all local, state and federal regulations are followed.
Additionally, Council members extended the blanket waiver allowing teams in those sports to require eight hours per week of virtual nonphysical activities through the end of June, recognizing that some student-athletes won’t be able return to campus or will not be comfortable doing so.
According to a post on the NCAA’s website, the status of voluntary athletics activities in all other sports and summer access activities in football and men’s and women’s basketball will be determined via electronic vote.
Council members emphasized that all decisions to reopen sports are being done with an eye toward doing so safely.
“We encourage each school to use its discretion to make the best decisions possible for football and basketball student-athletes within the appropriate resocialization framework,” said Council chair M. Grace Calhoun, athletics director at Pennsylvania. “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 athletics activities must be initiated by the student-athlete. Coaches may not be present unless a sport-specific safety exception allows it, and activities cannot be directed by a coach or reported back to a coach.
The Southeastern Conference athletic directors are expected to meet with health experts Thursday, according to an ESPN report, and recommend to university leadership whether teams should return to regular workouts. The report said the presidents and chancellors are then expected to make a decision on that guidance when they meet Friday.