Fall athletes to return to campus as NCAA approves plans for football, basketball
Football and Olympic sport teams will be allowed to come back to campus June 22, according to a statement from UCLA Athletics. However, UCLA encouraged only local players from non-football teams to return. (Liz Ketcham/Daily Bruin senior staff)
By Sam Connon
June 17, 2020 11:23 a.m.
This post was updated June 17 at 4:37 p.m.
As the state of California approaches phase three of its reopening plan, the Bruins have gotten the green light to start their own phase one.
UCLA Athletics released a statement Wednesday morning stating it would be entering the first phase of its four-phase “Return to Training” process June 22. Starting Monday, fall athletes – both on Olympic sport teams and football – will be permitted to return to campus for voluntary training activities.
The first phase, or the “Return to Campus” phase, will consist of COVID-19 and antibody testing – the frequency of which was not specified – in addition to the screening of student-athletes’ mental and physical well-being as they get back to Westwood. The second phase, or the “Return to Athletic Performance” stage, will include team activities of 10 or fewer student-athletes at a time, according to the Los Angeles Times. Phase three will be the resumption of full team practices and phase four will be the return to scheduled, on-the-field competition.
Dates for phases two through four have yet to be determined, but the Los Angeles Times’ Ben Bolch reported that phase one will last anywhere between three and 10 days.
Only the Olympic sport athletes who live locally were encouraged to return to Westwood, however, all football players were invited back. The statement designates the impacted fall sports as football, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, men’s water polo and cross country, but does not give any updates for men’s and women’s golf or tennis, all of which boast fall seasons of their own.
Student-athletes will not be required to come back to campus Monday, and UCLA Athletics said team-by-team communication would be going on all week in order to help them and their families make informed decisions on their returns.
Later Wednesday afternoon, the NCAA Division I Council approved a timeline that would give football programs six weeks to practice on campus before the season begins Aug. 29, meaning UCLA’s first required workouts could come as soon as July 6.
The NCAA also approved a plan that would allow men’s and women’s basketball teams to begin summer activities July 20, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein, but UCLA has yet to provide an update on the Bruins’ timeline on the court.