SEC passes vote allowing student-athletes to return to campus in June
It’s official, the Southeastern Conference is opening back up for student-athletes starting June 8.
The league announced the decision on Friday following a league-wide vote from the presidents and chancellors around the SEC.
Athletes are not required to return to campus, as the league notes the option to return to campus is voluntary for the athletes.
Football and basketball coaches will not be allowed to instruct/supervise workouts in the month of June, only strength and conditioning coaches are allowed to monitor the workouts — similar to a traditional offseason condition program.
SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey issued the following statement on the news:
“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. At this time, we are preparing to begin the fall sports season as currently scheduled, and this limited resumption of voluntary athletic activities on June 8 is an important initial step in that process. Thanks to the blueprint established by our Task Force and the dedicated efforts of our universities and their athletics programs, we will be able to provide our student-athletes with far better health and wellness education, medical and psychological care and supervision than they would otherwise receive on their own while off campus or training at public facilities as states continue to reopen.”
In addition to screening, monitoring and testing athletes upon their return, the following steps are being required to open facilities to athletes:
- Enhanced education of all team members on health and wellness best practices, including but not limited to preventing the spread of COVID-19
- A 3-stage screening process that involves screening before student-athletes arrive on campus, within 72 hours of entering athletics facilities and on a daily basis upon resumption of athletics activities
- Testing of symptomatic team members (including all student-athletes, coaches, team support and other appropriate individuals)
- Immediate isolation of team members who are under investigation or diagnosed with COVID-19 followed by contact tracing, following CDC and local public health guidelines
- A transition period that allows student-athletes to gradually adapt to full training and sport activity following a period of inactivity