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What NCAA Council's Vote to Lift Moratorium on On-Campus Activities Could Mean For LSU, College Football

Tigers could be back in the workout room by June 1 if all goes smoothly
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A return of student-athletes could be on the horizon as a report from Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger states that the NCAA will be voting on whether to lift the moratorium of on-campus activities on Wednesday.

It's a significant decision that can go one of three ways according to Dellenger.

"Council members have three options. They can keep campuses shutdown completely by extending the ban, an unlikely ruling, according to people knowledgeable about the discussions; they can open campuses for voluntary training (without coaching interaction); or they can grant required training (with staff interaction)."

The current moratorium is slated to end on May 31 and and if it’s lifted by the NCAA on Wednesday, could allow student-athletes to return to college campuses as early as June 1. So how does the NCAA's decision affect the SEC and LSU?

Well, after the NCAA's decision on Wednesday, the SEC will have a much clearer picture on how to proceed in its ruling on Friday. The SEC presidents are expected to vote on May 22 on whether to allow athletes back to campus on June 1 or June 15.

LSU athletic director Scott Woodward said during the “Coaches Caravan” this past Wednesday that the athletic department is preparing to have athletes back on school grounds in June.

"We have top concern for our student-athletes,” Woodward said. “We're making sure that is paramount, that we do these things we can control because that's one thing in our hands that we can help and we can do better.”

There's a three phase plan that the school is currently in the midst of, the first phase of which has already been enacted, allowing the coaching staff to return to the football ops facility. Now, the administration has moved on to phase two, preparing the facilities for athletes to return in a safe manner.

That phase includes ensuring that frequent testing is available, taking temperatures and cleaning the various athletic facilities on a daily basis.

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"We have really strict guidelines of what and how we practice being around folks with masks and proper social distancing," Woodward said. "We kind of led the league in terms of protocols and how to do that. These athletes are prospering and chomping at the bit to get back."

A passing of the moratorium by the NCAA and the SEC would not only see the return of football players but men's and women's basketball players as well.

In Dellenger's piece, he mentions that administrators are hoping the NCAA lifts the moratorium so that players can have a normal routine of summer workouts with six hours a week spent with the strength and conditioning coaches and two with on-field coaches.

That plan isn't a widely held belief among conferences because of the "inequality concerns among the 130 FBS programs" that would exist if some programs returned and others didn't. The fact of the matter remains that the SEC seems to be farther ahead than most other conferences.

Because most states with SEC schools already starting the reopening process, one athletic administrator made the point that it would be safer to have the athletes working out in the university’s controlled facilities as opposed to a public recreation center.

“If our kids can work out in the recreation center, why can’t we go to the facility? We feel like our facility is safer.”

It certainly feels like the start of a return is on the horizon, with the end goal being to have sports in the fall.

"We are planning and we are doing everything we can to control that we're playing on Labor Day weekend," Woodward said. "You can rest assured that our effort is to play football and to play 12 games this season."