Days after the NCAA approved the returns of football players and both men's and women's basketball players to campuses starting June 1 amid the coronavirus pandemic, the SEC announced member schools can bring student-athletes back the subsequent Monday.
On Friday, ESPN's Chris Low confirmed SEC student-athletes may return to facilities for voluntary workouts beginning on June 8. As is the case for supervised training sessions in professional sports leagues such as the NBA and MLS, SEC workouts will occur under strict guidelines to ensure social-distancing standards are followed by players and personnel.
In a statement shared by ESPN, the SEC announced:
"June 8 will begin a transition period that will allow 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."
Some SEC athletes may remain shut out of facilities due to university guidelines or local and/or state stay-at-home orders and recommendations during scenarios that remain ever-changing due to the pandemic.
Per conference commissioner Greg Sankey, the SEC wishes to start fall sports schedules on time. The first top-tier college football games are set to get underway in late August.
It's not known if any spectators will be welcomed to football stadiums during the uncontrolled virus outbreak. As noted by ESPN, Dr. Julio Frenk, president of the University of Miami, recently told CNN it's expected the Hurricanes of the ACC will "probably play in empty stadiums, like so many other sports" if the season goes on as intended.
The UFC and NASCAR both held closed-door events in the United States this month.
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