It’s been two and a half months since the sports world was shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but sports are slowly starting to make their return.
Earlier this month, the NCAA announced that they will lift a rule banning on-campus workouts on June 1st, but programs still had to follow rules set by conferences. On Tuesday, the Pac-12 followed suit, voting to lift their ban just two weeks later.
In a release, the conference officially announced that they will begin to allow voluntary in-person workouts for all sports to start on June 15.
“As states have either already opened or begin to open up access to parks, gyms and other training facilities, student-athletes should have the option at this time to be in, what for many, will be a much safer environment on campus,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in the release, “where they can have access to the best available health, well-being and training support.”
But, don’t schedule your “sports are back” party for June 15 quite yet. As with most things in today’s environment, nothing is that simple. In order for programs to start training, they must first get the go-ahead from their university as well as local and state governments.
WSU Director of Athletics Pat Chun also released a statement on that decision, stressing that the university will “phase-in” their student-athletes.
“We appreciate today’s decision by the Pac-12 Conference CEO group,” Chun said. “The health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches and staff is our absolute highest priority. Washington State Athletics is preparing for a phased-in return to campus for our student-athletes in the upcoming weeks and the resumption of voluntary, in-person activity will be an important step as we begin preparations for the fall sports season.”
Obviously, the news is a step in the right direction for fans hoping for a (somewhat) normal college sports season this fall. But, Chun, along with the Pac-12, are taking the safe route in these unprecedented times.
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