BYU Announces Athletes May Return to Campus for Voluntary Workouts

Max Clark

The NCAA Division 1 Council voted to lift a moratorium – originally set to expire on May 31 - on voluntary athletic-related activities for athletes participating in football and men’s and women’s basketball effective June 1 in an attempt to prepare for a fall sports season.

The decision allows football and basketball players to participate in on-campus workouts individually so long as they follow health protocols mandated by their schools and local health officials. The NCAA announced that these workouts may only take place if local, state, and federal health guidelines are followed.

Though the expiring moratorium will no longer be in effect June 1, conferences and schools are still responsible for directing their student-athletes and determining the best methods for athletes to return to campus for voluntary workouts.

“We encourage each school to use its discretion to make the best decisions possible for football and basketball student-athletes within the appropriate resocialization framework," said NCAA Division I Council chair and Pennsylvania athletic director M. Grace Calhoun. "Allowing for voluntary athletics activity acknowledges that reopening our campuses will be an individual decision but should be based on advice from medical experts” (CBS Sports).

In April, conferences and non-conference programs allowed players and coaches to gather via virtual means for instruction, including film review, team meetings, and supervised workouts. The decision to allow voluntary practices is a momentous step for collegiate athletics following the outbreak of the Corona virus pandemic, allowing players to return to campus in preparation for the eventual return of college sports.

BYU announced that they will re-open athletic facilities in a multiphase plan. Football and basketball student-athletes will be permitted to participate in voluntary workouts beginning Monday, June 1. "The main goal of the athletic department’s multiphase plan," BYU reported, "is to continue to promote the spiritual, social, intellectual and physical well-being of its student-athletes as they train and prepare for future competitions." 

The facilities will only be open to the football team and the men's and women's basketball teams:

"In accordance with the new NCAA Division I Council directive, and consistent with recent guidelines outlined by the state in Utah Leads Together, BYU football and men’s and women’s basketball student-athletes will have the option to utilize select university athletic training facilities beginning Monday, June 1, under the supervision of the BYU training staff. The plan accounts for incorporating additional student-athletes from other teams in subsequent phases, subject to future NCAA directives."

BYU's AD, Tom Holmoe, said that BYU has "worked closely with the University leadership, medical professionals, training staff and coaches to prepare a comprehensive plan for our student-athletes to begin participating in voluntary activities in select athletic facilities. The multiphase plan provides opportunities for our student-athletes to resume some of the workout routines typical of this time of year."

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