Football, men's, and women's basketball will be allowed to participate in voluntary athletic activities starting June 1st as the NCAA begins the process to bring sports back at the collegiate level.
College football and basketball teams will be allowed to hold voluntary athletic activities starting June 1 and through June 30, the NCAA announced on Wednesday.
Other fall sports - field hockey, soccer and women's volleyball among others - that are typically allowed to hold summer activities were not included. Coaches are not allowed to be present and all activities must be initiated by the student-athlete.
This comes at an increasingly optimistic time that many believe college football will return in some capacity this fall. Schools have announced their intent to hold classes for the upcoming academic year which typically starts around 'Week 0' of the college football season.
Sure there are still obstacles that remain, holding voluntary sessions and workouts is far cry from hosting games even without fans. But, this does show an increased confidence that there will be a way for games to be held. Why would the NCAA risk bringing student-athletes back to campus, where it could potentially be unsafe, unless there was an option to play?
Schools and programs still have to follow local and state orders. Many states are still limiting the number of gatherings at a time. Some remain under stay-at-home or safer-at-home orders. Institutions may also not allow the athletes back on campus as well.
On one hand, it may be safer for athletes to work out in a controlled environment, rather than try to go to a local gym. On the other hand, some programs will gain a competitive advantage to begin offseason programs that others will not be allowed to get due to local restrictions.
This process is just the beginning for the NCAA to try and get sports off the ground in the fall.