Practice fields receive $3 millions renovations

The NCAA as well as the SEC set May 31 as the date for re-evaluating the return to on-campus athletic activities. The NCAA voted on May 20 to allow a voluntary return for football and basketball athletes on June 1. The SEC is set to vote on the same issue on May 22. (Photo/David C Bristow, dbristow65@gmail.com)

On Wednesday, the fog over the fall sports landscape dissipated ever so slightly. 

In an effort to gradually reduce the barriers to the return of college sports, the NCAA Division I Council voted to allow voluntary on-campus athletic activities to resume starting on June 1, according to the NCAA’s website.

The current suspension of on-campus activities, which also prevented coaches from remotely conducting workouts or receiving training reports from athletes, was set to expire on May 31, prompting the new measures approved virtually on Wednesday by the DI council.

Only football and men’s and women’s basketball programs were included in the May 20 vote. On-campus activities for all other college sports remain suspended until a later vote.

Programs were instructed by the council to plan athletes’ access around any state and local orders restricting gatherings or the use of athletic facilities. 

The language of the NCAA’s decision was meant to emphasize that athletes may or may not choose to utilize the loosened suspension, and coaches are unable to direct students to return to campus facilities. 

However, coaches may continue to require eight hours of non-physical activity each week through June 30, such as virtual film review and team meetings. 

The council also waived the Football Bowl Subdivision’s minimum attendance policy for two years. Teams in the SEC, Big 10, PAC-12 and other seven FBS conferences will not have to meet the 15,000 average attendance minimum through the 2021-2022 season. 

Another measure approved on May 20 waived the requirement that 60% of an FBS school’s schedule — including five home games —  must be against other FBS competitors.

According to ESPN, a May 22 vote among SEC leadership will decide whether its schools can reopen facilities by the June 1 date given by the NCAA.

Sydney Kohne contributed to this article. 

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