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How Colleges Are Preparing For Athletes To Return

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With colleges preparing for their athletes return in June, athletic departments are taking extreme precaution to keep players and coaches safe. 

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Madelyn Burke: Major college conference commissioners are in daily deliberations about how to save the 2020 football season, while programs across the country are in the early stages of developing reopening plans for their training facilities. So joining me now is SI college football writer Ross Dellenger. Ross, the NCAA could lift a nationwide moratorium on on-campus summer activities, meaning schools could welcome back their athletes as soon as June 1st. As several college programs have already began preparing for this, how likely is that for it to be cleared?

Ross Dellenger: Yeah, I think most expect the NCAA Division I council on Wednesday to lift the moratorium on on-campus athletic activities. They do have three options: so they could extend the moratorium, which right now is May 30th. First, they could extend it, or they could lift it in two different ways. They could loosen the rule very lightly and allow for players to come back in a voluntary nature where they won't have coaching and coaching interaction. Or they could lift it all the way and make it just like a normal summer workout, which would mean coaches will be involved and be able to interact with them. I think most people believe that the second option, kind of the middle of the two will be allowed and that players can come back to campuses and do voluntary training kind of on their own. They'll be supervised a little bit, but no coaching interaction. 

Madelyn Burke: Now, obviously, safety is a priority in evaluating all this. But what are schools doing to make their facilities safer?

Ross Dellenger: Well, a lot of things. You know, first, it's the PPE, the personal protective equipment like gloves and masks. I talked to some schools that have ordered and secured over 1000 masks and over 4 or 5000 pairs of gloves. And then you've got the whole sanitation of the building. You know, you have these massive disinfecting foggers that blast chemicals in weight rooms and such. And these chemicals bond and they form as virus, germ killing protection. 

And then, of course, you know, the big concern is not the kids, which are ages 18 to 24, it's the coaches and staff members who are above the age of 40, 50, 60. They're going to have to be real careful, you know, wearing masks, wearing gloves, things like that. Players will be screened as they come into the building. It'll be like a human car wash is how some ADs have described it. In the analogy, the player is the vehicle and he moves through the car wash from the screening process to other cleaning areas of the building to get disinfected before you go into the weight room to train. Then you move outside to do conditioning and then finally you exit the building in a separate exit from the from the entrance and you leave. So you come in, you basically work out and then you leave. There's no kind of hanging around. 

Check out the full story here:

Fogging Machines, Contact-Free Facilities and Outdoor Weight Rooms: The 'New Norm' That Awaits College Football Players