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Michigan Pres. Says Without On-Campus Instruction School Won't Have College Athletics

The Michigan Wolverines football team won't partake in the 2020 season unless students are back on campus, according to school president Mark Schlissel. 

Schlissel told the Wall Street Journal that any decision the school makes for this coming fall will last the entire academic year. 

“If there is no on-campus instruction then there won’t be intercollegiate athletics, at least for Michigan,” said Dr. Schlissel, who is an immunologist by training. 

He added that there is currently “some degree of doubt as to whether there will be college athletics [anywhere], at least in the fall.” 

Michigan president's comments were published just days after the Southeastern Conference presidents voted that they will allow athletes to return to campus for voluntary workouts starting June 8.

In doing so, the SEC became the first of the 10 conferences to lift its own ban on on-campus activities after the NCAA chose Wednesday not to extend its nationwide moratorium that expires May 31.

Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren recently told Sports Illustrated's Pat Forde and Ross Dellenger that, "the next 45–50 days will be critical" in terms of the conference making a decision regarding the future of sports this fall."

In early May, Penn State football coach James Franklin said that he doesn't foresee every college football team beginning their seasons concurrently.

"I can't imagine that right now we're all going to open at the same time," he told ESPN. "If the SEC, for example, opens up a month earlier than the Big Ten, and the Big Ten is able to open up and 12 of the 14 schools, if two schools can't open, I don't see a conference—any conference—penalizing 80% or 75% of the schools because 25% of them can't open."

NCAA president Mark Emmert also recently said that it won't mandate or oversee a uniform return to college sports, adding that the NCAA's decision-making model is more similar to the federal, state and local government.