Most of the 2020 USF Football team will be allowed to return campus Wednesday to begin voluntary on-campus workouts after the USF Board of Trustees approved the university’s phased return plan, Vice President of Athletics Michael Kelly announced Tuesday.
“We are excited to begin the phased return of student-athletes to campus for voluntary workouts to prepare for competition, starting this week with members of the football team, while we continue to be very mindful of the dangers the current pandemic and prioritize our student-athletes health and safety first,” Michael Kelly said. “Director of Sports Medicine Steve Walz and our Infection Response Team (IRT) have done a great job developing a comprehensive and detailed plan for the safe return of our student-athletes and a limited number of staff while working in conjunction with the University, state and local authorities and CDC guidelines.”
According to USF, more than 75 players will return to begin workout sessions, which will be limited to ten players at a time. To help accommodate the CDC social distancing guidelines, Athletics moved most of the weight training stations outside under a covered tent.
In addition to the players, 25% of the athletics staff—which will consist of sports medicine, strength and conditioning, and housekeeping— will also be allowed to return. Every person returning will be tested for COVID-19, as well as daily wellness and temperature checks.
The rest of the football team is set to return the second week of July.
Men’s and women’s basketball will return to the Muma Center June 15 for voluntary workouts. Men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, men’s and women’s cross country are scheduled to return July 6.
While this is welcomed news, we are not out of the woods yet with COVID-19. VPofA Michael Kelly told The Daily Stampede last week that he’s more optimistic now as compared to a month ago that the September 5 game at Texas will be played. This is the step in the right direction.