Just two days after the NCAA Division I council ruled to allow football and basketball student-athletes on campus starting June 1, the Big 12 announced its own guidelines regarding the return of student-athletes to campus.
The conference’s phase-in plan allows for football student-athletes to return to campus for voluntary athletics activities beginning June 15. Volleyball, soccer and cross country student-athletes will be allowed to return July 1, while athletes for all other sports can return July 15.
“We remain optimistic and are continuing to plan for football this season, and this is another positive step towards preparing for that,” Texas athletics director Chris Del Conte said in a statement.
In accordance with the NCAA’s guidelines set Wednesday, student-athletes may only participate in voluntary activities without coaches present or directing the drills.
In the statement, the conference said that the guidelines are “intended to permit gradual adoption of best practices for mitigation of COVID-19 as well as ensuring a safe environment and appropriately prepared facilities.”
With the University of Texas having recently made the decision to hold a shortened fall semester on campus, Texas football’s season opener against South Florida is still scheduled for Sept. 5 at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
“We were able to get some of our football coaches and staff in the offices this week, and all went well with the health and safety measures we put into place for that,” Del Conte said. “We’ve also been working on plans, procedures and health and safety measures in order to get student-athletes on campus. Given the approval today by the Big 12 and our campus that we can bring football student-athletes back for voluntary workouts with our strength and conditioning staff on June 15, the wheels are now fully in motion to begin preparations for that.”