The National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Council announced that voluntary athletics activities for all sports are now permitted among its member schools, according to an official statement released on Friday via Twitter.
Division I student-athletes in all sports will be permitted to participate in voluntary athletics activities beginning June 1. The waiver allowing for eight hours of required, virtual, nonphysical activities is extended in all sports through June 30. Required athletics activities will be prohibited for Division I basketball and both Football Bowl Subdivision and Football Championship Subdivision student-athletes through June 30. Schools are expected to make decisions based on the health, safety and well-being of their student-athletes and in compliance with local, state and federal regulations.
Included with the tweet was a press release that explains the parameters of the decision in-depth. Council chair M. Grace Calhoun, athletics director at Pennsylvania, had the following to say about the move to allow collegiate sports to inch towards a reopening.
“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. 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.”
It was noted that the governing body would continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and presumably be open to changes in the plan as events continue to unfurl. While the prospect of collegiate sports’ return is an exciting one, it will require extreme caution moving forward into the unknown.