Report: Big Ten Will Leave Athletes’ Return To Campus To Individual Schools
The Big Ten isn’t expected to make a formal, league-wide announcement regarding student-athletes’ return to campus this summer, according to ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg.
Instead, the conference will defer the decision to individual programs and national NCAA rulings. At this time, Penn State Athletics hasn’t shared its plans for bringing student-athletes back to campus yet.
The NCAA ruled Wednesday that student-athletes could return to campuses for voluntary football and basketball workouts starting June 1. Practices and training sessions will need to comply with local, state, and federal guidelines and are expected to employ social distancing protocols.
So far, Illinois and Ohio State are two of the few Big Ten schools that have announced plans for athletes returning to campus. The Illini are targeting a mid-June return, while the Buckeyes plan to begin practicing on Monday, June 8 pending university approval.
Penn State Athletics did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the university’s plans.
“As always, the safety and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches, staff and community is our first priority,” Kris Petersen, associate athletics director for strategic communications, said in response to ruling earlier this week. “We continue our planning for various scenarios and will continue to follow guidance from health officials, as well as our campus leadership and state leaders.”
Additionally, the Big Ten’s presidents will meet on June 7 to discuss plans for fall sports seasons as well as other athletics-related topics.
Other conferences, such as the SEC, for example, have taken collective action when planning athletes’ return. The conference’s presidents voted Friday to allow teams to return to campus starting June 8.
Earlier Friday, the Big Ten canceled its upcoming summer football media days due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event was scheduled to take place in Chicago this July.
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The department believes universities should encourage social distancing, wearing face masks, and implementing sanitizing stations.
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