Just as professional sports begin to make their return in New York, collegiate sports could be experiencing a delay in Michigan. Well, at least at the University of Michigan. The Wolverines’ president Dr. Mark Schlissel says the campus won’t allow football players to return to campus unless the general student body is also able to return, according to a new report by the Wall Street Journal.
“If there is no on-campus instruction then there won’t be intercollegiate athletics, at least for Michigan,” Schlissel, a trained immunologist, said while expressing “some degree of doubt as to whether there will be college athletics [anywhere], at least in the fall.”
Schlissel’s comments come mere days after the NCAA announced it would allow voluntary on-campus athletic activities to resume on June 1, ultimately leaving the official “start” date up to each conference. The SEC announced plans to reopen June 8 (although there has not been any official announcement from UK specifically at this time), and the Big 12 released a plan to open June 15. The ACC and the Big Ten are leaving the decision up to the conferences’ schools, which is how Ohio State and Illinois have already announced plans to resume workouts in early June, while Michigan remains closed.
UM president: “If there is no on-campus instruction then there won’t be intercollegiate athletics, at least for Michigan.” He has “some degree of doubt as to whether there will be college athletics [anywhere], at least in the fall.” https://t.co/Cfp83Xd1z5
— Rachel Bachman (@Bachscore) May 24, 2020
Michigan has been one of the states hit the hardest by Coronavirus, recording more than 5,200 deaths, according to the CDC. The state’s stay-at-home order has been extended through June 12, and the flagship school has not announced a potential reopening date.
Schlissel plans on making that decision in the “coming weeks.” He doesn’t expect the decision to change with the season.
“Any decision we make for this coming fall is likely going to be the case for the whole academic year, Schlissel continued. “What’s going to be different in January?”