SEC announces athletes can begin returning to campuses on June 8

Florida Gators athletic director Scott Stricklin. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images) (2017 Getty Images)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The SEC is on its way back.

The conference announced on Friday that athletes can resume workouts at campuses beginning June 8. All workouts are voluntary. Schools have been off-limits to athletes since the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a standstill in mid-March.

Athletes returning to campuses will be staggered and those athletes will be screened for COVID-19. A lengthy list of safety precautions have been put in place as colleges begin taking small steps in getting back to normal.

"The safe and healthy return of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators and our greater university communities have been and will continue to serve as our guiding principle as we navigate this complex and constantly-evolving situation," said SEC commissioner Greg Sankey in a statement.

"At this time, we are preparing to begin the fall sports season as currently scheduled, and this limited resumption of voluntary athletic activities on June 8 is an important initial step in that process. Thanks to the blueprint established by our Task Force and the dedicated efforts of our universities and their athletics programs, we will be able to provide our student-athletes with far better health and wellness education, medical and psychological care and supervision than they would otherwise receive on their own while off campus or training at public facilities as states continue to reopen."

The University of Florida sent out a list of information about reintroducing athletes to campus and workouts. Football, volleyball and soccer teams will be the first to return to campus in phases. Access to athletic facilities will be by appointment only.

"Our student athlete wellness group has been working for some time with UF Health officials on a plan to integrate our student athletes back on campus. They have developed a gradual phasing program, so that we don’t have an influx of a large number of student athletes returning at once,” Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin said.

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