NCAA Division I Council Vote Allows 'Voluntarily Athletics Activities' for Football, Basketball Programs

Jake Kocorowski

Could we all be one more step closer to resuming college football and other programs later this year? 

On Wednesday evening, the NCAA Division I Council officially announced that "voluntary athletics activities" for three collegiate sports -- football, and both women's and men's basketball -- could commence starting on June 1. That comes with the condition that "all local, state and federal regulations are followed."

Yahoo's Pete Thamel first reported the decision earlier on Wednesday afternoon. Later, Sports Illustrated's Pat Forde and Stadium's Brett McMurphy and ESPN's Andrea Adelson also announced the news.

Thamel further reported that those activities can "go through June 30th."

This overall appears to be good news to those wanting collegiate sports to return, but that being said, there may be other benchmarks or clearances needed as well.

The Big Ten Conference earlier this month extended its suspension on organized team activities through June 1. If that temporary restriction is left to expire, then we will see what comes thereafter.

On Monday, UW-Madison and chancellor Rebecca Blank released "Planning for a Safe Return to Campus," which discussed how the university is working out "a phased reopening over the course of the summer and what we are doing to make decisions about the fall semester."

Dane County, of which UW-Madison resides, recently implemented its Forward Dane plan that displayed phases for reopening. University spokesman John Lucas provided a statement to, noting that the initiative "does not apply directly to units of a state agency:"

UW Athletics is aware of the planning phases incorporated into the Forward Dane plan from Public Health Madison & Dane County. UW-Madison participates in an ongoing partnership with local and state health authorities.

Currently, the Big Ten Conference is evaluating plans for a return to competition, with the health and safety of student athletes and spectators as its most important consideration.

While the local PHMDC order does not apply directly to units of a state agency, the university will continue to consult closely with the city and county as conference and university reopening plans continue to develop.

The Wisconsin State Journal's Todd Milewski first reported statements from Lucas earlier on Wednesday. 

In the same statement released by the NCAA, "voluntary on-campus athletics activity must be initiated by the student-athlete. Coaches may not be present unless a sport-specific safety exception allows it, and activity cannot be directed by a coach or reported back to a coach." 

Here is more from Sports Illustrated's Pat Forde and Ross Dellenger regarding the news of the approved activities by the aforementioned NCAA council:

The workouts are considered voluntary, meaning no on-field coaches can have interaction with athletes, but strength staff members are expected to be able to supervise activity.

In a normal summer, athletes can spend eight hours a week with interaction from the staff—two hours with on-field coaches and six with strength staffers. It’s unclear when programs will be allowed those normal activities. In a story published on SI last week, conference commissioners said consensus had been reached on a six-week training camp that must start by mid-July in order to kick off the season on time, but even before that, players will ready themselves for camp with workouts that are expected to be much different than normal. will update this story as needed going forward.


Wisconsin Athletics