The Arizona Wildcats are following the lead of the Pac-12 Conference by bringing student-athletes back to campus in mid-June.
The UA “will begin the process of having student-athletes return to campus for volunteer physical training” on June 15, the school announced Friday morning. That date coincides with the league’s recommendation issued earlier this week. Campuses have been closed to students since mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The first group will consist of football players. Student-athletes from other sports, along with select staff members, will return “in phases on a weekly basis” thereafter, the school said in a news release. Priority will go to those who compete in fall sports. The release also noted that “all student-athletes and staff members on campus will follow significantly elevated safety protocols for testing, tracing and treatment.”
“The phased re-entry of student-athletes is the next step in Arizona Athletics’ commitment to a safe and healthy return to campus,” UA athletic director Dave Heeke said, via the school. “This comprehensive plan to bring student-athletes back to campus is a collaboration between our athletics department and campus partners to develop guidelines, protocols and procedures.
“I want to thank President (Robert C.) Robbins and university leadership for their guidance and vision for bringing Wildcats back to campus. There are many factors that remain beyond our control, and our athletics department will still face some uncertainty before completely reopening. However, our intent remains a return to competition.”
The athletic department’s Re-Entry Planning Team has been working in conjunction with the university’s Re-Entry Task Force on a phased plan to bring back students that follows conference, NCAA and governmental guidelines.
This story will be updated.
Contact sports reporter Michael Lev at 573-4148 or email@example.com. On Twitter @michaeljlev
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