A big step toward seeing football this fall was taken Friday, when, as expected, the NCAA cleared the way for voluntary activities on campuses starting June 1 with required activities not permitted until June 30 passes.
The SEC has since then given the go ahead for activities for all sports starting June 8.
The caveat here is that actual policies school to school will vary, but the big picture is that football is a few dozen steps closer back to happening...one way or another, this fall.
What will that look like for Georgia?
Ron Courson, Georgia’s Senior Associate Athletic Director for Sports Medicine outlined the following details of UGA’s voluntary workout and transition plan:
The approval of “voluntary work-outs” is the first step back in an orderly progression for the return of sports.
First and foremost, our focus is on health and safety. We are taking a collaborative approach that involves public health, community health care system, sports medicine, sports performance, sports nutrition, and sport coaches working together to develop a plan and ensure each student-athlete has a individualized plan for return.
We will conduct COVID testing and perform medical evaluations on all student-athletes and they must be medically cleared prior to any physical activity. We will identify any student-athletes and staff who may be more vulnerable due to existing health conditions and ensure that we have an individualized plan of care for their safe return to sport or work based upon medical guidance.
Our student-athletes have had an unprecedented lay-off from sports and we have to be smart about how we progress back to activity during this “transition period”. Our strength and conditioning return to sport plan will be based off national consensus guidelines developed by a joint task force with representatives from the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association. It involves starting with a reduced volume of work and modified work-rest ratios with a gradual increase, allowing the student-athletes to acclimate to both the environment with heat and humidity as well as building up exercise tolerance.
We have developed a detailed plan to utilize the strength and conditioning facilities that follows the State of Georgia Executive order for re-opening of exercise facilities, including screening procedures, small groups using social distancing, and enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols.