Brownell, Clemson ‘optimistic’ student-athletes can get back on campus this summer

Brownell, Clemson ‘optimistic’ student-athletes can get back on campus this summer

Basketball

Brownell, Clemson ‘optimistic’ student-athletes can get back on campus this summer

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Though Clemson announced Wednesday it will not have any classes on campus this summer, men’s basketball coach Brad Brownell still hopes they will be able to get basketball players and the other student athletes on campus at some point this summer.

In a release Wednesday afternoon, Clemson announced the transition of all undergraduate and graduate summer academic courses to online instruction through Aug. 7, the completion of the summer term. The move to online instruction includes the sessions identified as Summer, Summer I, Summer II and Summer Mini A-D.

No decisions have yet been made about availability of facilities, opening of statewide offices or events scheduled to occur after May 8. Clemson University will evaluate those activities in light of the continued spread of novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) and make decisions as more information becomes available.

Brownell told The Clemson Insider on Wednesday afternoon, if they can do it, it is important they get the athletes on campus at some point in the summer.

“That remains to be seen. Certainly, I think it will be challenging right now. But I want to be optimistic and hope we can get guys on campus at some point during the summer. I think, if we don’t, it will be different,” he said. “Guys are only by themselves all April, May, June and July and then they are coming to campus in August and we have not spent really any quality time with them for four or five months, we are going to have a lot of work to do.

“It is the same for everybody in our sport right now, but I think we are all hopeful that at some point we are going to get our players back on campus, even if the school is doing e-learning all summer.”

A Clemson athletic official told TCI the university has left the door open to “the possibility” that football players, basketball players and other student athletes could return to campus to begin training and workouts this summer. It also keeps the door open for the university to host other campus events such as graduation, orientation and those things.

“They do a lot of all line classes in the summer anyway, I don’t know if it is drastically different, if we just have e-learning all summer. But, obviously, it will be drastically different if we don’t have athletes on campus to work out and use the facilities,” Brownell said.

“I think we are ways away from that, these are administrative matters. They are not coaching decisions or anything of that nature. That is between President [Jim] Clements, the board and certainly Dan [Radakovich], Graham [Neff] and those guys will advocate for what they think is the best practices for the athletic department,” Brownell continued. “We all want to practice safety for our student athletes. We do not want to put them in situations where their health would ever be in jeopardy. That is a big reason why we did not play our game against Florida State. We were, obviously, right about to do that, so I think there is still time. We just have to see what happens here over the next month or so and then we will have a little bit better of an idea of what to do next.”

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