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NCAA officials nix ban on on-campus training for football, men’s and women’s basketball

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Athletes are allowed back on June 1 on a voluntary basis

Louisiana Tech v Texas Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Some Longhorn athletes will now be allowed to train on campus from June 1 to June 30.

On Wednesday, the NCAA Division I Council voted to end the ban on on-campus training enacted in light of the pandemic, allowing athletes to return their training on a voluntary basis, Yahoo Sports reports. The ruling pertains to football and men’s and women’s basketball. That, however, susceptible to change in the near future, Sports Illustrated writes.

Because the workouts are voluntary, on-field coaches aren’t allowed interaction with players. As SI notes, strength staff members will be charged with supervising activity.

NCAA officials’ vote today follows Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby’s remarks on Monday that the conference’s athletic directors have agreed on a uniform date for players to return by mid-June. And as noted by Texas Longhorns coach Tom Herman in an interview with the Dallas Morning News earlier this week, he expects there to be a six-week preparation period prior to the season – a two-week acclimation period for any necessary medical and conditioning assessments, and then the standard four-week period for training camp.

Herman also discussed a June 1 return date earlier this week with Football Scoop earlier this week. “I would love to get our weight room doors open on June 1 and keep the lifting discretionary — not mandate that any kid comes back if they’re out of town or whatever. We’ve got probably half of our team that’s here in Austin. ... Still keep the lift groups under 10, still keep social distancing, but allow them to use the equipment that they’re used to using and be supervised from a health and safety standpoint by our strength and conditioning staff. We’ve got probably a much better plan, I would think, to sanitize things,” Herman said, noting how the state included gyms in its early phased-in reopening plan.

“We’re all hopeful that the first couple weeks in July we’ll be able to resume some mandatory team activities, get some of these kids that are out of town, get them back here, put everybody in one central location, quarantine the team, test in, test out, all that stuff, and hopefully get a season started on time,” Herman continued. “I think that would be the nirvana or best case scenario for everybody.”

Still, Herman admitted, coaches remain worried about the conditions both they and the players will return to. “I think a lot of coaches are worried — obviously, the health and safety of our players, the health and safety of our support staff is the most important thing at this time — I think we also want to make sure that it’s not the wild west on June 1 and different conferences, different teams within conferences are doing things differently. I think we’ve got to have a unified vision of what June 1 and beyond is going to look like nationally.”