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Penn State Athletics to Begin Phased Return to Campus on Monday

by on June 04, 2020 9:44 PM

Penn State Athletics will begin a phased return to campus starting Monday with 75 football players.

According a press release, the return is part of a wider plan that includes other student groups who may also require access to specialized facilities, in-person mentoring or early arrival for successful transition to the fall semester.

“We are looking forward to the return of our student-athletes in the coming weeks and hope this is the first steps to a full return for the fall,” said Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Sandy Barbour. “We are appreciative of President Barron for including ICA in this first wave of students coming back to campus."

According to Penn State, players have already begun a quarantine in preparation for their return to campus and will be tested and quarantined upon their return. Players who are medically cleared can then participate in voluntary on-campus workouts beginning June 15.

Those workouts will be limited in size to groups of less than 20 and will be supervised by Penn State’s performance enhancement and sports medicine staffs.

Penn State will enforce multiple protocols, including:

  • Education for all student-athletes, coach and staff on Penn State’s COVID safety protocols.
  • Mandatory daily health screening questionnaire and temperature check for student-athletes, coaches and staff.
  • Required use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Adherence to social distancing guidelines for meetings and workouts, including the use of smaller groups for performance enhancement session.
  • Enhanced cleaning for all athletics facilities.
  • Limited and monitored access to facilities.

“We are very confident in our plan and will continue to keep the health, safety and wellbeing of our students, coaches, staff and community as our top priority,” Barbour said. “Our outstanding sports performance group worked with medical experts at both the University, conference and national level, as well as University leadership to develop an extensive return to campus plan for our student-athletes, staff and facilities.”

In late May the NCAA announced that it would not prohibit programs from returning to campus for voluntary workouts starting June 1 until the end of the month. The Big Ten's own suspension of team-related activities has since expired as well. Additionally, Centre County is currently in the green phase of Governor Tom Wolf's reopening plan in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Penn State is slated to announce larger campus-wide plans for the fall semester in the coming days with a decision for the fall semester coming no later than June 15.

No decisions have been announced about if or how the college football season will be played.

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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