SEC sets return date for in-person voluntary athletic activities

Sports

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – June 8th.

That is the day the Southeastern Conference set for voluntary in-person athletic activities to resume on campuses across the league.

“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,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey in the conference’s official release.

The statement read in part:

“Due to the impact of COVID-19, the SEC had suspended all athletics activities through May 31. June 8 will begin a transition period that will allow student-athletes to gradually adapt to full training and sports activity after this recent period of inactivity. Under plans developed by each university and consistent with state and local health directives, certain activities will be permitted based on the ability to participate in controlled and safe environments, while also maintaining recommended social distancing measures.”

Organized team activities were put on hold back on March 12th, and suspended activities through May 31st. University presidents and chancellors from the 14 member institutions came to this decision on May 22nd.

This decision was made in response to the NCAA allowing in-person voluntary athletic activities to begin on campuses as early as June 1. The president of the NCAA, Mark Emmert, left it up to individual conferences to decide when to set a firm return date.

The rest of the SEC’s release stated:

“In addition to standard infection prevention measures as approved by public health authorities such as facility cleaning and social distancing, recommended enhanced health and safety measures include:

  • 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

During the month of June, NCAA regulations permit only strength and conditioning personnel to supervise voluntary on-campus athletics activities in the sports of football and men’s & women’s basketball. A current waiver that permits eight (8) hours of virtual film review has been extended through June 30 for football and basketball.

Consistent with NCAA regulations, organized practices and other required physical activities remain prohibited in all sports. A previously announced suspension of in-person camps and coaches clinics conducted by SEC institutions remains in effect until July 31.”

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