Nebraska has its plan in place.
The Huskers expect to welcome a number of athletes back to campus beginning June 1, a source confirmed to Hail Varsity. That includes football, basketball (both men’s and women’s), volleyball and soccer.
When it comes to football, athletic director Bill Moos told Hail Varsity that some are already on campus and have gone through protocol. “Others will follow in waves to allow for testing,” he said.
Nebraska’s plan follows the NCAA Division I Council’s decision to allow voluntary athletic activities starting June 1 across the country. That was extended to all athletic activities on Friday. Each conference and individual schools would be left to make their own decisions about when players could return, as long as each did what was necessary to protect student-athlete health and safety. That means being in compliance “with applicable state and local regulations regarding the use of such facilities, group size restrictions and any other limits.”
“We encourage each school to use its discretion to make the best decisions possible for football and basketball student-athletes within the appropriate resocialization framework,” said Council chair M. Grace Calhoun, athletics director at Pennsylvania. “Allowing for voluntary athletics activity acknowledges that reopening our campuses will be an individual decision but should be based on advice from medical experts.”
Nebraska isn’t the only Big Ten program to share its plan. Illinois shared that voluntary workouts will resume on campus as of June 1, which “aligns approximately with similar plans being developed by other Big Ten institutions.” Student-athletes will return “according to a tightly choreographed schedule that includes robust testing and initial periods of quarantine.” That plan looks like this:
“Football and men’s basketball student-athletes are scheduled to arrive first, in small groups over a series of days in early June. The return protocol includes initial and ongoing viral and antibody testing, initial quarantining, contact tracing, and arrangements for extended quarantine and care of any student-athlete testing positive for COVID-19. By early July, DIA anticipates student-athletes from women’s basketball, volleyball, and soccer will have returned to campus as well. DIA will evaluate the ability to return student-athletes from sports beyond these five as the summer progresses.”
That is similar to what Iowa announced as well.
“Select coaches and staff will return on June 1 with football players to follow on June 8,” The Daily Iowan reported. “Men’s and women’s basketball players can come back on June 15. … All activities will be voluntary, and student-athletes must go through a formal clearance process in order to participate. Iowa will follow Big Ten and NCAA guidelines to ensure student-athlete safety.”
With the Big Ten placing the decision on each university, it seems likely these decisions will become known in the coming days.