LARAMIE — Turns out football and basketball players won’t be the only student-athletes allowed to start voluntary on-campus workouts next month.
The NCAA on Friday announced Division I athletes in all sports will be permitted to resume voluntary athletics activities on campus beginning June 1. The move lifts a moratorium college sports’ governing body had on voluntary workouts in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Required athletics activities for football and men’s and women’s basketball teams are still prohibited through June 30, though the association announced schools will be allowed to cover expenses for football players that they normally would outside of tuition and fees, including meals and lodging. A current waiver allowing eight hours of weekly virtual instruction in all sports also has been extended.
“The return of voluntary activity in addition to the extension of the waiver to allow virtual, nonphysical activity shows sensitivity to local, state and regional differences in how Division I campuses are reopening,” NCAA Division I Council chair M. Grace Calhoun said. “We will continue to be considerate of these differences with wise and flexible administration of our regulations, and we expect schools to keep the well-being of student-athletes as a priority.”
The decision comes after the Division I council voted earlier in the week to allow football and basketball players to return to campus for a June 1 start. Wyoming announced a phased approach to bringing its student-athletes back on campus, one that will come with safety measures for athletes, coaches and anyone that may come in contact with them during workouts.
Those measures will include surveillance COVID-19 testing and a 14-day self-quarantine once athletes return to campus.
Of course, how soon athletes are able to return at each school will largely depend on safety regulations in place in each state. As of Friday, Wyoming had 609 confirmed cases, 405 confirmed recoveries and 12 deaths related to the coronavirus.
Though the University of Wyoming has yet to officially announce plans for course instruction this fall, the school’s board of trustees has approved a request for $46 million in federal stimulus money in anticipation of reopening the campus that would include funds for testing students and staff members.
Follow UW athletics beat writer Davis Potter on Twitter at @DavisEPotter.