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SEC votes to allow athletes back on campus June 8

© Jason Getz | USATSI

© Jason Getz | USATSI

Beginning June 8, SEC student athletes will be allowed back on campus for voluntary workouts. The league’s presidents and chancellors voted on the matter today, and announced the news via press release. UK athletic director Mitch Barnhart followed up the announcement by tweeting that from here, UK will work with state and local government to determine the date and plan for its student athletes to come back to Lexington.

“With the NCAA and SEC approving a return to activity, we will now work with our partners at the state and local government and university levels to determine the date that our student-athletes will come back,” Barnhart posted on social media. “We will not compromise the safety and well-being of our student-athletes in this process, taking all possible precautions. Once we take this important step in returning to activity, we will shift our focus to preparing to return to play and bringing the entire UK family – student-athletes, coaches and fans alike – back together this fall in a responsible and safe way.”

Here’s the press release from the SEC:

Voluntary in-person athletics activities may resume on Southeastern Conference campuses, at the discretion of each university, beginning June 8 under strict supervision of designated university personnel and safety guidelines developed by each institution, the SEC announced Friday.

Due to the impact of COVID-19, the SEC had suspended all athletics activities through May 31. June 8 will begin a transition period that will allow student-athletes to gradually adapt to full training and sports activity after this recent period of inactivity. Under plans developed by each university and consistent with state and local health directives, certain activities will be permitted based on the ability to participate in controlled and safe environments, while also maintaining recommended social distancing measures.

The decision to resume athletics activities, which at this time is limited by the NCAA to voluntary activities supervised by strength and conditioning personnel, was made with the guidance of the Conference’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force. Created by the SEC’s Presidents and Chancellors in April and comprised of a cross-section of leading public health, infectious disease and sports medicine professionals from across the SEC’s 14 member institutions, the Task Force will remain active to provide continued advice and guidance to the SEC and its members as they prepare for a return to competition.

“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,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. “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.”

As part of its recommendations, the Task Force prepared a series of best practices for screening, testing, monitoring, tracing, social distancing and maintaining cleaned environments. These recommendations will serve as a roadmap for each school prior to and upon the return of student-athletes to their campuses.

“While each institution will make its own decisions in creating defined plans to safely return student-athletes to activity, it is essential to employ a collaborative approach that involves input from public health officials, coaches, sports medicine staff, sports performance personnel and student-athletes,” Sankey said. “Elements of the Task Force recommendations provided key guidance for determining the date of the return to activity.”

In addition to standard infection prevention measures as approved by public health authorities such as facility cleaning and social distancing, recommended enhanced health and safety measures include:

  • Enhanced education of all team members on health and wellness best practices, including but not limited to preventing the spread of COVID-19
  • A 3-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
  • Testing of symptomatic team members (including all student-athletes, coaches, team support and other appropriate individuals)
  • 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

During the month of June, NCAA regulations permit only strength and conditioning personnel to supervise voluntary on-campus athletics activities in the sports of football and men’s & women’s basketball. A current waiver that permits eight (8) hours of virtual film review has been extended through June 30 for football and basketball.

Consistent with NCAA regulations, organized practices and other required physical activities remain prohibited in all sports. A previously announced suspension of in-person camps and coaches clinics conducted by SEC institutions remains in effect until July 31.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

19 Comments for SEC votes to allow athletes back on campus June 8

  1. makeitstop
    1:42 pm May 22, 2020 Permalink

    CDC reports there have been fewer than 90 deaths in the US under 24 years old. Thats .1% of the total deaths and about .00000075 of the population in that age group. Literally less than 1:1milliin. Of those who died across all age groups they had an average of 2.5 Co-morbifities, mostly obesity, heart disease and diabetes. In other words, the kids are safer than u are sitting at home, and far safer than THEY are siting at home.

    • makeitstop
      1:43 pm May 22, 2020 Permalink


    • makeitstop
      1:45 pm May 22, 2020 Permalink

      *co-morbidities – u would think as many times as we type it, auto correct would get it. In any event bottom line: play ball.

    • 4everUKBlue
      1:50 pm May 22, 2020 Permalink

      Again….people dying with coronavirus not from it.

    • CrystalBall
      4:02 pm May 22, 2020 Permalink

      You are absolutely right, 4everUKBlue. Colorado now reports that about 25 percent of previously reported coronavirus deaths
      were people who died with it, not from it.

    • lexwildcat
      2:41 pm May 22, 2020 Permalink

      Very true about dying with Covid. I saw where gun shot victims and traffic accident victims are being tested in Washington state and being added to the total. Very deceiving with the numbers over all.

    • satcheluk
      2:42 pm May 22, 2020 Permalink

      It’s not just about deaths. It’s causing kidney/liver failure, permanent lung damage and strokes in young healthy people.

    • 4everUKBlue
      4:00 pm May 22, 2020 Permalink

      Hospitals are getting $13,000 for admitting a patient, $39,000 if they put them on a ventilator and another $39,000 if they code the death as covid. Anyone who believes all the fear propaganda has been had.

    • 4everUKBlue
      7:25 am May 23, 2020 Permalink

      CrystalBall, I’d bet the farm the percentage is much higher, Italy says 99% of coronavirus deaths had other illnesses.

  2. ronzo
    1:53 pm May 22, 2020 Permalink

    Just as I thought, the threat to cancel football will make all this Asian flu concern go away. We’ll see.

  3. Realme
    2:23 pm May 22, 2020 Permalink

    I’m not saying this announcement made me fight not to tear up, but I’m also not saying it didn’t.

  4. lexwildcat
    2:24 pm May 22, 2020 Permalink

    I saw where Loserville is coming back June 8th. My guess is UK comes back on the 8th as well.

  5. JT55
    5:27 pm May 22, 2020 Permalink

    I feel bad for some of the states with liberal idiotic governors.

  6. zoupman
    3:07 am May 23, 2020 Permalink

    They should be allowed back June 1st.

  7. Ipeeblue
    8:22 am May 23, 2020 Permalink

    I hope Louisville and Duke has a good team this year!!!