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SEC Approves Voluntary Athletic Activities Beginning June 8th

Mark Stoops
Keyli Chisesi | Go Big Blue Country

On Thursday, the NCAA approved voluntary activities for football and basketball beginning June 1st. The Southeastern Conference followed with their decision Friday afternoon.

The SEC decided to resume voluntary in-person athletics activities on SEC campuses, at the discretion of each university, beginning June 8th.

Each SEC institution has to do so under strict supervision, and safety guidelines are required to in place by each university.

“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,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. “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.

“While each institution will make its own decisions in creating defined plans to safely return student-athletes to activity, it is essential to employ a collaborative approach that involves input from public health officials, coaches, sports medicine staff, sports performance personnel, and student-athletes,” Sankey said. “Elements of the Task Force recommendations provided key guidance for determining the date of the return to activity.”

The following information is from a press release the SEC released Friday:

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.

 

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