On the same day Clemson announced it will begin Phase 1 of its return-to-campus plan on June 1, the NCAA is going to allow student-athletes the opportunity to return to campus on the same day.
As first reported by Yahoo Sports, the NCAA Division I Council voted Wednesday to allow the return of student-athletes in football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball to their campuses on June 1, where they can begin their voluntary workouts. According to the report, the ruling clears the return from June 1 through June 30.
However, Wednesday’s ruling does not mean Clemson’s football players can begin workouts on June 1. The NCAA says it is sill up to state, local and school officials on when they feel it is safe for their student-athletes to return to campus.
As mentioned, Clemson University Police Chief Greg Mullen told the board of trustees, in a called special meeting Wednesday, that the university will begin Phase 1 on its return to campus on June 1. According to Mullen, Phase 1 will be limited to on-campus work. This will include facilities and maintenance staff who will help get the campus ready for more university employees and student returns.
Once Phase 1 begins, Clemson will begin to monitor the number of COVID-19 cases in the area for a period of 14 days. If there continues to be a downward trajectory, the university will then begin Phase 2, which will include more faculty and university employees returning to campus.
Though Mullen did not say this is when student-athletes might be able to return, he did indicate Phase 2 will allow the re-opening of facilities, such as gyms and recreational areas.
“Starting to really re-energize a lot of those in-person opportunities on campus, but still letting those most vulnerable stay home and work remotely and for those that are carrying for vulnerable members of their family so there is still an opportunity for them to remain working remotely,” Mullen said. “As we continue to open up those areas, we get back into things such as gyms and recreational facilities and other areas that can open.”
The NCAA’s decision ends its moratorium on athletic events and activities which runs through May 31.
While Clemson will begin Phase 1, it appears the SEC and all of its member schools, including the University of South Carolina, are reportedly ready to vote for a return to campus as early as June 1. The SEC is expected to make a formal vote on Friday.
According to Yahoo Sports, the Division I Council is expected to address sports other than football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball as soon as possible. That could take place within the next week.
The Clemson Insider reached out to Clemson and asked for a comment from head football coach Dabo Swinney about the NCAA’s ruling. Swinney opted not to comment at this time.
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