MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The Big 12 Conference has announced their ‘return-to-play’ timeline for football players. The Big 12 released their phase-in plan, which will allow football student-athletes to return to their respective campuses on June 15.
The league’s Board of Directors have given the green light for voluntary on-campus workouts for conditioning and training exercises. Cross country, soccer and volleyball student-athletes are able to return July 1. All other Big 12 student-athletes may return to campus for voluntary sport-related activities July 15.
? Phase-In Plan Approved ?
Beginning June 15, football student-athletes will be permitted to access campus athletic facilities. Volleyball, soccer and cross country student-athletes – July 1. Full details ➡️ https://t.co/FdSIKeTZo8 pic.twitter.com/BPHRKVOUZF — Big 12 Conference (@Big12Conference) May 23, 2020
Individual schools must still consult with state and local health officials to determine if the June 15 date meets health and safety requirements. All in-person activities in all NCAA sports have been halted since March 12.
On Wednesday, WVU President E. Gordon Gee said that the June 15 date was likely the target he was looking at for members of the Mountaineer football team to return to campus.
“There is a debate among the Big 12 presidents on whether we do June 1 or we do June 15 or we do July 1,” Gee said on Wednesday. “We know this — if we are going to play football in the fall, which we are, the latest we could open up to our student-athletes could be about July 15. I would compromise and say we bring our athletes back around June 15. Shane Lyons and his team will make that call.”
West Virginia is scheduled to open the 2020 football season on September 5 against Florida State in Atlanta, Ga. If the June 15 target return date is met, the Mountaineers will have twelve weeks of practice to prepare. WVU was only able to hold two of their fifteen scheduled spring practices.
Earlier on Friday, the Southeastern Conference announced that student-athletes can return to their respective campuses on June 8.