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Report: Governor Wolf Discusses Need For Vaccine In Return Of Penn State Athletics

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf reportedly discussed a possible return of sports with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Wednesday, specifically regarding Penn State.

Wolf discussed Penn State football and basketball in the article, stating that fans must feel confident that they won’t get sick in order to attend a sporting event.

“Ultimately, I think what it’s going to take for everybody to feel safe going to a Penn State game or a basketball game is they have some confidence that they’re not going to get sick by being in close contact with somebody else,” Wolf said.

There has been some positive news in the world of college athletics of late. Earlier this week, the NCAA’s Division I Council voted to approve lifting restrictions on voluntary workouts for football, men’s basketball, and women’s basketball, according to several reports.

Beginning Monday, June 1, student athletes in those Division I programs can return to their campuses for summer workouts and practices. The council voted to approve this opening until June 30, leaving the rest of the summer undecided at this time.

The NCAA stated that it’ll leave it up to each individual program to decide whether or not student-athletes will return to campus or take part in organized workouts. Specific decisions will also be made in cooperation with local, state, and federal guidelines.

Penn State Athletics did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the council’s vote.

While some athletes are getting a chance to practice, Wolf added that a vaccine is needed to allow people to return to big events and their daily lives in general.

“I think what it’s going to take to get people back to big events — indeed, what it’s going to take to get people back to shopping, to work , to school — is going to be, ultimately, a vaccine,” Wolf said. “Some assurance they’re not going to get sick.”

As for Penn State football, its game against San Jose State was called in to question when the California State University system stated that it would conduct the fall semester virtually in light of the pandemic. Despite this, associate athletics director for strategic communications Kris Petersen stated that the matchup is still on as planned “at this time.”

According to NCAA President Mark Emmert, though, universities are unlikely to begin competing until students return to their campuses.

“All of the commissioners and every president that I’ve talked to is in clear agreement: If you don’t have students on campus, you don’t have student-athletes on campus,” Emmert said. “That doesn’t mean [the university] has to be up and running in the full normal model, but you have to treat the health and well-being of the athletes as much as the regular students.”

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About the Author

Will Pegler

Will is a sophomore majoring in digital and print journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. He is from Darien, Connecticut and is a lifelong Penn State football fan. He loves a good 80's comedy movie, The Office, and the New York Yankees and Giants. You can catch some of his ridiculous sports takes on his Twitter @gritdude and yell at him on his email [email protected]

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