In a way, college sports are making their return.
The NCAA Division I Council on Wednesday reportedly voted in favor of the resumption of voluntary athletic activities in football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball June 1 through June 30, according to multiple sources. The news was first reported by Yahoo! Sports’ Pete Thamel.
Sources: The NCAA Division I Council voted to approve voluntary athletic activities in football, MBB and WBB to start June 1st and go through June 30th. There had been a moratorium on that through May 31st. Other sports will be acted on on a later date.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) May 20, 2020
Other sports will be addressed by the council within the next week, according to Yahoo! Sports.
The council was to vote on whether an NCAA moratorium on athletic activities across all sports set to expire May 31 should have been extended. The result of the vote meant the end of the moratorium and a step toward the return of college sports.
This doesn’t mean players will immediately return to training, as it cannot be enforced by programs. On-field coaches are also not allowed to oversee training sessions. Only strength staff members are allowed to supervise athletes’ activities, according to Sports Illustrated.
It’s a significant step in the journey back to college sports, but a return to voluntary training doesn’t guarantee practices resume and games are given the rubber stamp. Assessing the viability of the return of college sports may not come until the end of June — at the earliest.
An assessment can’t even be made across the board. All NCAA schools are given the green light with the result of the vote, but state, local and conference regulations supersede what the NCAA says.
Some conferences have league-wide bans in place. Leaders of the SEC plan to discuss a plan for players to return to campuses across their member schools at a meeting Friday.
Other conferences, like the AAC, are planning to leave decisions to individual schools.
“We realize there are going to be some inequities,” AAC commissioner Mike Aresco said to Sports Illustrated. “Some campuses will open a little later than others when it comes to that sort of thing.”
Regardless of what individual schools decide, conference commissioners came to the consensus that football players should return to campus for training in mid-July. That would make for a six-week training camp before the start of the season at the end of August.