The NCAA Division I Council voted Wednesday to let a moratorium on voluntary workouts on campus expire at the end of the month, clearing the way for student-athletes to return to campus in football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball on June 1 through June 30, according to Yahoo! Sports.
Southeastern Conference athletic directors are expected to meet with health experts Thursday, according to an ESPN report, and recommend to university leadership about whether or not to extend the moratorium on in-person, on-campus workouts. The report said the presidents and chancellors are then expected to decide when they meet Friday.
The Advocate reported last week that LSU Executive Deputy Athletic Director Verge Ausberry said a vote would occur Friday but later said he misspoke, saying the vote would occur at an unspecified time.
The Southeastern Conference university presidents will vote on an undetermined date whether players will be able to return to campus on either…
LSU players returned home over two months ago, when the SEC first cancelled all athletic activities on March 13. The SEC suspended play through April 15, then, as the spread of the virus worsened, the league suspended all athletic activities through May 31.
Since then, players worked out on their own while taking online classes. The LSU coaching staff installed its offensive and defensive systems in virtual team meetings, and it created a task force to assist players in academics.
LSU's football coaches returned to the facilities last Monday, the first of LSU athletic director Scott Woodward's "three-pronged approach" to returning full activities within the athletic department.
Will there be social distancing at Tiger Stadium?
LSU executive deputy athletic director Verge Ausberry said last week that "it's too early" for LSU to make that call, although the athletic department has started talking about possibilities.
LSU begins its football season on Sept. 5 in Tiger Stadium against UT-San Antonio, and, Ausberry said, "it's not even June yet."
"I think anybody telling you they really know what's going to happen and what they're going to do, they're not telling the truth," Ausberry said.
Leave it to the ever-optimistic Ed Orgeron to find the positives in the middle of a pandemic.
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said he believes the Buckeyes could safely play home games with 20,000 to 30,000 fans in its home stadium, which seats about 105,000.
“I think we can get there,” Smith said.
Smith said he hadn’t figured out yet how those 20,000 to 30,000 spectators would be chosen. He said masks and other precautions would be required to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Most athletic departments need the revenue generated from football to fund their other sports. Hundreds of schools are reeling financially from the effects of the pandemic. Athletic departments, particularly at smaller schools and in Division II, have already cut a number of sports.
Advocate staff writer Brooks Kubena and the Associated Press contributed to this report.