The first concrete sign of the return of IU athletics came on Wednesday when the school announced plans for a limited return beginning on June 15.
The first group to start voluntary workouts will be members of the football team beginning June 15, subject to a series of pre-participation protocols along with ongoing evaluations. The second group will consist of the men’s and women’s basketball players, who will begin voluntary workouts on June 18.
The full release from IU Athletics including a comment by AD Fred Glass is below. To see Indiana’s full phase one restart plan, go here.
Bloomington, Indiana – Based on the Indiana University Athletics Medical Advisory Group Phase One Restart Plan, Indiana University Athletics is beginning the process of returning groups of its students who compete in intercollegiate athletics to campus for voluntary workouts which would first start on June 15th.
“We cannot totally eliminate the risk,” said Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Fred Glass. “At least until there is a vaccine, there will be risk. What we can do is have the best doctors give us the best protocols and make sure they are strictly followed. That’s what we’ve done and what we are going to do.”
To promote the health and safety of student-athletes, coaches and staff participating in team activities (collectively “Participants”), IU Athletics established the IU Athletics Medical Advisory Group on March 10, 2020 to provide expert medical advice to the Department. This group consists of Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Andy Hipskind; IU Team Physician, Dr. Larry Rink; and Dr. Tom Hrismalos, a specialist in infectious disease. Dr. Rink also serves on the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases. The IU Athletics Medical Advisory Group worked in collaboration with IU Environmental Health and Safety and IU Emergency Management to develop the following requirements for IU Athletics to implement for the resumption of limited athletic activities in certain facilities for Indiana University students who participate in intercollegiate athletics. IU Athletics recognizes that the protocols we are putting in place transcend the health and safety of the IU Athletics community, as we also seek to promote the health and safety of the general IU student body, the entire IU community, and the city of Bloomington.
Because of the rapid developments in best practices related to COVID-19, this plan is considered Phase 1 and addresses the protocols that are expected to be in place while teams pursue voluntary athletic activities. The plan will be updated as the Department looks toward team practices and ultimately competitions and as needed based on the guidance of relevant authorities. The plan has been developed to meet, and in some areas exceed, all federal, state, local, Indiana University, Big Ten Conference, and NCAA guidance relating to COVID-19.
The students’ returns will be staggered and include a reintegration phase before each student is able to participate in voluntary workouts at Indiana University athletic facilities.
The first group to start voluntary workouts will be members of the football team beginning June 15. In advance of starting workouts, this first group will go through a series of pre-participation protocols before they can be cleared to participate in voluntary workouts. Among other requirements, each student-athlete must complete a daily medical check and agree to abide by a series of CDC guidelines to complete the reintegration process and be cleared to participate in voluntary workouts.
The second group will consist of the men’s and women’s basketball players, who will begin voluntary workouts on June 18. Like the first group, they will go through the same pre-participation process.
Additional groups will return later this summer for voluntary workouts and follow the same pre-participation protocols. These subsequent groups will include students who participate in fall sports, and they will return for voluntary workouts on the following timeline:
Women’s Soccer – July 6
Volleyball – July 8
Men’s Soccer – July 13
Field Hockey – July 15
Cross Country – August 18
Once an individual is reintegrated, they will be required to adhere to a series of guidelines moving forward. These requirements include daily medical checks, abiding by CDC guidelines regarding social distancing, and, when deemed necessary by IU Athletics’ Chief Medical Officer, COVID-19 testing.
In accordance with the NCAA guidelines, all workouts will be strictly voluntary and IU Athletics will emphasize the voluntary nature of the workouts to its students. The voluntary workouts will be conducted in accordance with detailed safety protocols governing the workouts themselves as well as the pre- and post-workout procedures. These safety protocols include elements being used by other Big Ten institutions as well as the NFL, NBA and U.S. Olympic Committee. These protocols include a daily medical check for students; social distancing and facemask guidelines for students and staff; guidance on group size and composition; facility capacity limitations; directives regarding equipment usage and cleaning; and directives on facility cleaning.
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