Late afternoon Wednesday, the NCAA reportedly gave college sports fans one of the best pieces of news since ESPN released The Last Dance early. According to a report by Pete Thamel and Yahoo Sports, the NCAA has approved the return of in-person sports activities for three college sports starting June 1.
That’s right. The NCAA has said yes to a June 1 return of women’s basketball, men’s basketball and college football. (Anyone else feel like they just shed a few of those quarantine pounds from stress eating about what you’re supposed to do without football? Just me? I digress.)
The NCAA approval does not mean fingers have been snapped and football is 100% happening. What it means is that the governing body over collegiate sports will be allowing schools to start the process of practicing and playing sports. Athletes returning to on-campus sports activities must happen in accordance to state and local government guidelines as well as university guidelines.
Schools will now have to determine how many student-athletes can be in one area, such as the weight room, at a time. Questions of how much physical contact can and will be had, what will the schools do in terms of testing for COVID-19 and how will they ensure the returning student-athletes continue to make smart and safe decisions about their non-sports activities will be just a few of the stream of questions to be answered in the coming weeks.
For the athletes that cannot return to campus, the NCAA is allowing them to participate virtually, much like virtual communication they’ve already been having. The Mountaineers, in accordance with the Big 12 conference guidelines, have been given an eight-hour maximum for football conversations since April and will now be guided by head coach Neal Brown for their next steps in moving forward.
A Big 12 commission statement on yesterday’s approval has yet to be made.