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Original Article from Riley Gates via 247sports.com
College sports might not officially be back, but they seem to be a little bit closer to a return every day. And on Wednesday afternoon, the thought of sports being back full-time became even more of a reality.
According to Yahoo! Sports reporter Pete Thamel, the NCAA Division I Council voted to approve voluntary athletic activities in football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball beginning on June 1 and going through June 30. The rest of the sports will be acted on at a later date, which is expected to be next week, according to Thamel. In addition to that, college football reporter Nicole Auerbach reported that a waiver allowing eight hours of virtual activities per week will continue through June 30, too.
Prior to this announcement, there had been a moratorium from the NCAA on all sports through May because of the coronavirus pandemic. Because of that, the future of fall sports — specifically college football — looked to be in danger. But some schools are to the point where they believe they can't continue to fear the coronavirus.
"We need to learn to dance with the pandemic rather than being fearful of it," West Virginia president Gordon Gee said, according to CBS. "We have moved from 'The Hammer,' which I call where we just locked everything down, to what I call 'The Dance.'"
Getting student-athletes back on college campuses is the first step in confirming that there will be a fall sports season. On Tuesday, sources told 247Sports' Bucknuts that Ohio State was planning to have football players return to campus on June 8. The report of Ohio State's return to campus came just one day after the Big 12 told 247Sports that the conference was looking to resume normal activities beginning in mid-June.
According to the 247Sports report, protocols for the preparation for the return of student-athletes is in the hands of individual schools.
"You have to have therapeutics in place, you have to have testing in place," Bowlsby said. "You have to know what you're going to do with your sanitisation of your weight rooms and your locker rooms and and your training rooms. There's a very heavily logistical component to this and we rely on the the advice of our physicians and an organization that we have hired to advise us on infectious disease control. We're going to do, first and foremost, what is safe for our student-athletes."
The trend of getting players back on campus and into activities like normal could continue going in the right way as more safety protocols are followed by schools, further preventing the spread of the coronavirus. And while the risk of contracting the disease is not fully gone, more information is being learned on how to fight it. ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit — whose two sons play football at Clemson — said he feels the schools will have enough information to not put athletes in harm's way.
“I am one of these guys who trusts, in this case, Dabo Swinney, his staff, his doctors, the advice they’re getting from the experts. I think they’re going to err on the side of caution,” Herbstreit said. “But at the same time, trying to walk that fine line between — they need to move forward, right? They need to start working out, they need to think that they’re going to have, potentially, a season and you can’t sit idle as you do that.
“I have trust and confidence as a parent in the doctors, the trainers, the leaders in the ACC and Clemson, as a parent. Like I said, I don’t look through two different lenses, through college football and my two kids. I look at it all the same.”