NCAA to lift workout restrictions on June 1 (Reports).
The NCAA has started clearing the path for athletes to return to campus for voluntary workouts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Division I Council voted Wednesday to allow the workouts for football and basketball players starting June 1, ending a moratorium on athletic activities in those sports.
The return of athletes in other sports will be taken up at a later date.
The University of Wisconsin and others in the Big Ten Conference are under separate restrictions on organized team activities imposed by the league through June 1. There was no immediate word whether the Big Ten moratorium would be allowed to expire or be extended.
Limitations on gatherings under Public Health Madison and Dane County’s Forward Dane plan released Monday don’t apply to UW-Madison, university spokesman John Lucas said.
While the school consults with the city and county on reopening plans, it’s not bound to the Forward Dane order because it’s a unit of a state agency, Lucas said.
Forward Dane set a course for progression through phases of loosening restrictions designed to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Decisions on advancing to the next phase are based on metrics related to test results, crisis care, contact tracing and more.
Gym and recreational facilities have been closed until the county reaches Phase 1, no sooner than Tuesday. Capacities are limited on a sliding scale through the phases, with further restrictions on areas where contact sports take place.
The plan also includes limits on the number of people at mass gatherings, starting at 10 for indoor events and 25 for outdoor events in the first phase. Any events beyond the Phase 3 limits of 100 people indoors or 250 outdoors are on hold by the public health agency’s order until “widespread protections” from COVID-19 — potentially including a vaccine, according to the website tracking metrics — are available.
“UW Athletics is aware of the planning phases incorporated into the Forward Dane plan from Public Health Madison and Dane County as it relates to gatherings,” Lucas said. “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.”
Officials from Public Health Madison and Dane County didn’t provide information in response to a question Wednesday about how UW falls into the Forward Dane plan.
UW athletes have been on their own for workouts since the Big Ten shut down organized team activities on March 13, one day after the rest of the 2019-20 college sports season was shelved.