SEC: Voluntary workouts can begin June 8

Southeastern Conference programs are clear to host voluntary workouts with student-athletes present on campus starting June 8.

The SEC announced the decision with added social-distancing measures required on Friday in response to the NCAA this week clearing member institutions to host workouts starting June 1.

During a meeting Friday with all 14 SEC universities represented by chancellors and presidents, approval was given for all programs to begin workouts while also operating under state and local guidelines related to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The safe and healthy return of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators and our greater university communities have been and will continue to serve as our guiding principle as we navigate this complex and constantly-evolving situation,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement. “At this time, we are preparing to begin the fall sports season as currently scheduled, and this limited resumption of voluntary athletic activities on June 8 is an important initial step in that process. Thanks to the blueprint established by our Task Force and the dedicated efforts of our universities and their athletics programs, we will be able to provide our student-athletes with far better health and wellness education, medical and psychological care and supervision than they would otherwise receive on their own while off campus or training at public facilities as states continue to reopen.”

In addition to college football, men’s and women’s basketball programs have permission for individual workouts on campus.

Measures related to football starting fall camp and on-field team workouts are being discussed by the NCAA and could be put to vote the first week of June.

The SEC dictated the adoption of additional safety measures for workouts to take place in June:

–A three-stage screening process that involves screening before student-athletes arrive on campus, within 72 hours of entering athletics facilities and on a daily basis upon resumption of athletics activities

–Enhanced education of all team members on health and wellness best practices, including but not limited to preventing the spread of COVID-19

–Testing of symptomatic team members to include all student-athletes, coaches, team support

–Immediate isolation of team members who are under investigation or diagnosed with COVID-19 followed by contact tracing, following CDC and local public health guidelines

–A transition period that allows student-athletes to gradually adapt to full training and sport activity following a period of inactivity