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NCAA allows resumption of voluntary team activities in Division I football and basketball

(USA TODAY) The NCAA Division I Council on Wednesday voted to allow athletes in football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball to resume voluntary on-campus workouts, beginning June 1.

The move lifts a prohibition that has been in place since March, when the coronavirus pandemic resulted in a variety of actions shuttering college sports, including the cancellation of the NCAA basketball tournaments.

The status of voluntary on-campus activities in other sports will be determined through email votes that will be taken over the remainder of this week.

In other actions announced by the association, the Council voted to temporarily waive several rules related to membership and scheduling requirements because of the pandemic.

The minimum football-game-attendance requirement for Football Bowl Subdivision schools will be set aside for two years. Normally, once every two years on a rolling basis, FBS schools must average at least 15,000 in “actual or paid” attendance for all home football games. This will help schools that may have to play games without fans or with limited attendance or where attendance might be affected by the pandemic.

FBS schools will not be required to play 60% of their games against FBS schools or play five home games against FBS teams this season. This will assist if schools need to play shortened seasons or if they need to re-arrange their schedules.

In a variety of sports, including the fall sports of soccer, women’s volleyball and field hockey, Division I schools will not be required to play the usual percentages of their schedules against other Division I schools. This will enable schools to limit travel and those costs by playing more games in their local regions.

Minimums related to the number of scholarships and/or the amount of scholarship money that FBS schools must award were waived for a period of three years. This will help athletics programs facing financial problems, but gender-equity requirements and NCAA rules that can limit schools’ ability to cancel or not renew scholarships will remain in effect.

Some schools had been targeting a June 1 resumption date for on-campus activities, even before Wednesday’s vote, and other schools even had been making preparations in anticipation of this. READ MORE

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