As NCAA clears some athletes for workouts, local schools emphasize safety

NCAA: Football, basketball workouts can resume

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The NCAA Division I Council voted to allow football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball players to resume on-campus voluntary workouts beginning on June 1. With football season on the horizon, this is viewed by many as the first step towards a potential college football campaign that could begin in the fall.

The council will vote on how other sports can move forward at a later date.

While June 1 is the date the NCAA highlighted, decisions will ultimately be made by states, medical personnel and the individual universities themselves. Virginia head coach Bronco Mendenhall said on Thursday that the NCAA's ruling would have no impact on UVA's program.

"Until our state, the CDC, our medical staff and our institution say that it's safe and we have the structure and we have the resources and we have the testing and we have all the protocols in place, our players will not be returning to grounds," Mendenhall made clear.

The head Cavalier said that ideas on how to prepare facilities and house players change daily. Mendenhall also points out a possible competitive disadvantage that his team could face if other states' guidelines are not as stern as Virginia's rules.

"I hope at the very very minimum there's established a universal start date for number of practices before the first game and some kind of equality that way."

As for basketball, Mike Rhoades and VCU had a front-row seat to the grinding halt that sports experienced on March 12. The Atlantic 10 Tournament was canceled moments before the Rams were set to tip-off in their quarterfinal game in Brooklyn.

"I miss being in the gym and being with our players and sweating with them and watching them grow as people and players," Rhoades said. "Ten weeks later, here we are and we still have a ways to go."

VCU's Basketball Development Center will be open on June 1 for players who want to do their own voluntary workouts. Rhoades is quick to point out that everything will be done with safety at the forefront.

"Two at a time here, two at a time there, everything's done on a schedule, there will be a lot of breaks during the day of sanitizing the building and going from there, we're going to be very disciplined with it."

When it comes to the start of the season, November is a ways off, and Rhoades says he really hasn't thought too much about that just yet.

"There are some unknowns. Why worry about it? Be in the moment, be in the present right now and handle the things we can handle right now."

As for the start of the football season, Mendenhall has thought about it.

"I think football will start in the fall. It's too soon to tell whether it will start on time and what it will look like."

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