The state of college sports in the fall is still up in the air, but athletes may be returning to campus soon.
The NCAA decided today that it will allow Division I football and basketball student-athletes to participate in athletics activities on campus beginning June 1.
The student-athletes may only participate in voluntary activities, with no coaches allowed to be present or directing the activity. They must also comply with all local, state and federal regulations regarding health safety.
“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,” M. Grace Calhoun, Penn athletic director and Division I Council chair, said in a statement. “Allowing for voluntary athletics activity acknowledges that reopening our campuses will be an individual decision but should be based on advice from medical experts.”
The statement comes hours after the University of Texas announced its plans to return to campus for a shortened semester in the fall and its plans for a Phase One trial with “an essential group of football coaches and support staff” that will run until the end of May.
While some states remain primarily closed, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order Monday allowing all youth sports and professional sports to resume beginning May 31. Additionally, the executive order allowed for gyms and workout facilities to reopen Monday.
Regulations that Texas student-athletes will have to follow include spacing workout equipment 6 feet apart and frequently disinfecting regularly touched surfaces.