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IU athletics announces plan for a limited return


IU football players run through drills during practice in 2017 at John Mellencamp Pavilion. IU Athletics has announced its plan for fall sports to return to practice this summer. IDS file photo and Rebecca Mehling

IU athletics will phase in a return to practice beginning June 15 and will slowly add subsequent sports over the following nine weeks, according to a release Wednesday morning.

“We cannot totally eliminate the risk,” IU athletic director Fred Glass said. “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.”

Football will be the first sport to resume athletic activities June 15, followed by men’s and women’s basketball June 18.

The return of IU’s other fall sports will be staggered throughout July. Women’s soccer will return July 6, volleyball July 8, men’s soccer July 13, field hockey July 15 and cross-country will return Aug. 18. The remainder of IU’s 24 sports will return when classes resume for the fall semester.

Before athletes can resume activities, they will be pre-screened for symptoms and history of COVID-19. Athletes will also have to undergo a review of where they were before returning to campus, their mode of transportation to return and their potential risk factors in relation to the virus.

Once the athletes return to practice, they will undergo daily health screenings that include a questionnaire and temperature checks by IU Sports Medicine staff.

No more than 10 participants — athletes and staff combined — will be allowed to participate in activities together at one time. The plan encourages participants to avoid unnecessary physical contact like high fives, fist bumps and handshakes. All participants will also be required to physically distance whenever possible and wear face coverings while not participating in physical activities, such as spotting and stretching.

Both basketball courts in Cook Hall, the weight and training rooms in Cook Hall and Memorial Stadium, Memorial Stadium field and the outdoor football practice fields will all be open. Mellencamp Pavilion, IU’s indoor practice facility will remain closed alongside the locker rooms.

IU’s plan also outlines extensive cleaning procedures to be followed under the supervision of the head athletic trainer in each space.

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