AUSTIN (KXAN) — The NCAA is expected to allow student-athletes for football and men’s and women’s basketball to return for on-campus workouts starting June 1, according to multiple national reports.
First reported by Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel on Wednesday, the NCAA voted to allow players from those sports back on campus in small groups from June 1 until June 30.
The NCAA’s decision isn’t meant to be a decree — but more of a test run for bringing collegiate athletics back amid the coronavirus pandemic. Each university is expected to follow the health guidelines set forth by local and state governments.
On Wednesday, Austin Public Health interim authority Dr. Mark Escott said he doesn’t expect there to be mass gatherings of more than 2,500 people in Austin-Travis County throughout 2020.
Dr. Escott’s opinion could spell trouble for fans hoping to watch live football with 100,000 of their closest friends at Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium in the fall, but it isn’t necessarily an opinion against college football happening in 2020.
The University of Texas system isn’t under the City of Austin’s jurisdiction. Longhorns Athletic Director Chris Del Conte remains optimistic about a 2020 football season, developing a task force within the athletic department to come up with best practices and solutions for Longhorns athletic events during the pandemic.
The NCAA, the Big 12 Conference and the state of Texas hold the most weight in regards to the Longhorns playing a football season. The NCAA agreeing to allow student-athletes back on campus for a portion of the summer is at least a small start to a return to college athletics.