Rejoice, Owl fans!
Brian White, Florida Atlantic’s vice president and director of athletics, announced this week that beginning June 8, football players will be able to return to campus as a part of the a phased-in approach that will have the entire team back for practice by late June.
The NCAA Division I Council voted last week to allow voluntary on-campus athletic activities in football and men’s and women’s basketball beginning on June 1,
A moratorium for all on-campus athletic activities due to the coronavirus pandemic expires on Sunday.
“Our number one priority, as always, is the safety of our student-athletes staff and community,” White said. “Over the last several weeks, our staff has worked together with university leadership, university and local health officials and Conference USA to develop this plan for a safe return to campus for the student-athletes, coaches and staff.”
He had suspended all practices until further notice on March 13. Conference USA cancelled all spring sports competitions three days later.
“Our student-athletes couldn’t be more excited about getting back to campus,” said FAU football coach Willie Taggart, who is heading into his first season with the team. “Everyone involved with our program is committed to the health and well-being of our student-athletes.
— FAU Football (@FAUFootball) May 27, 2020
He went on to say, “While it won’t be what it would be considered a normal summer training program, the guys are very much looking forward to being back in the weight room, and on the field and around their teammates and coaches as a newer coaching staff, we’re looking forward to this opportunity to continue getting to know our young man as well.”
Meanwhile, the Pac-12 announced on Tuesday that it will allow for voluntary in-person athletic workouts for all sports beginning on June 15, while the Southeastern Conference announced last week that in-person athletics activities may start back up again on June 8.
The Big Ten will reportedly leave reopening decisions up to each school.
None of the other Group of Five conferences have made announcements about a conference-wide or school-specific reopening.
White added that FAU will, “enact a number of safety procedures in order to maintain a healthy, safe environment for everyone based on best practice guidelines from agencies such as the Florida Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.”
“Our student-athletes are role models in many respects of their lives,” he continued, “and I expect them to continue those examples while the strict protocols are in place.”