ATHENS SEC football and basketball players can return to campus for voluntary workouts on June 8 after a vote of league presidents on Friday.
ALERT-Voluntary in-person athletics activities may resume on @SEC campuses, at the discretion of each university, beginning June 8 under strict supervision of designated university personnel and safety guidelines developed by each institution.
Southeastern Conference (@SEC) May 22, 2020
The NCAA cleared the path for the student-athletes return as early as June 1 on Wednesday when the Division I Council voted to lift a moratorium for on-campus activity that ran through May 31.
The 40-member council decided in a virtual meeting that Division I football and basketball players could take part in voluntary activities provided they adhere to state and federal provisions and/or guidelines.
Per the NCAA release, council members emphasized health and safety aspects, to the extent that reopening campuses " will be an individual decision but should be based on advice from medical experts," per council chair M. Grace Calhoun, athletics director at Penn.
Coaches cannot attend or direct the voluntary workouts unless there's a safety exemption nor can they receive reports from the activity.
The University of Georgia has been working on the players returning to campus for weeks, since president Jere Morehead appointed nine groups made up of 140 people.
"There will obviously have to be some changes, and there will have to be some precautions," Morehead said in an April WGAU interview.
Morehead said the groups are working in the areas of: workplace safety, instruction, research, public service and outreach, student life, athletics and the fiscal impact.
Scott Woodward, the athletic director at defending national football champion LSU, said last week his program was preparing for the June 1 return.
"We are preparing for a June 1 return, even though we don't know that," Woodward said in a Zoom call that included the Lafayette Daily Advertiser.
"I see some time in June our athletes getting back to campus and us taking care of them and being paramount in safety and health."
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said last week the Buckeyes set a potential return date of June 8, per Bucknuts.
This, after NCAA president Mark Emmert said he would not legislate a uniform return from conference to conference.
While voluntary workouts will resume on campuses across the country at different times, conference commissioners reached a consensus on a six-week training camp in effect by mid-July if the season is to start on time.
The six weeks had been recommended by the NCAA oversight committee, as previously reported by DawgNation.
The Division I Council said it will address the return of other sports to campus soon, with their respective status' determined by electronic vote.
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