USC Athletic Director Mike Bohn delivered a statement on Tuesday afternoon, addressing the decision by the Pac-12 earlier in the day to allow conference programs to begin voluntary on-campus workouts for all student-athletes on June 15.
Recently, the NCAA announced that programs could begin bringing student-athletes back to campus to participate in voluntary workouts beginning June 1. The Southeastern Conference voted to make it’s start date June 8.
Bohn’s statement did not give a clear indication that USC student-athletes would be back on the field beginning June 15, though it did not rule it out, either.
“Today’s announcement by the Pac-12 Conference, coupled with last week’s vote by the NCAA Division I Council, pave the way for USC Athletics to begin a phased return to campus for in-person, voluntary workouts in the weeks ahead,” Bohn said in his statement.
“In preparation for these next steps, we have been working tirelessly to develop an athletics health and safety plan in coordination with university leadership, the Pac-12 Conference’s COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee, and state and local public health guidelines. With reopening processes beginning in states all around the country, today’s vote is another positive indicator of our progress toward the start of our football and other fall sports seasons. As this is a rapidly evolving situation, it is imperative that we move forward responsibly and with the utmost care for the health and safety of everyone connected to our program, while remaining in alignment with the university’s comprehensive ‘Project Restart’ effort.”
USC’s “Project Restart” is a 10-group coalition designed to find the best way to re-engage the campus. The groups are Public Health Policy Advisory, Restart Opening Phase Policy, Academic Quality, Student Experience, Undergraduate Programs, Clinical Education, Graduate Programs, Research, Neighborhood Collaborative and Financial.
USC has stated that it hopes to announce its plans for the Fall 2020 semester sometime in June. This date of June 15 would allow USC some time to organize an official return plan for its student-athletes.
Arizona State today said it will allow workouts in the athletics facilities in “a phased-in approach” beginning June 15. Cal released a statement similar to the one from USC, including that they would work in coordination with state and local public health guidelines.