Michigan State Athletics Announces Plan For Student-Athletes To Return For Voluntary Workouts

  "We are excited to welcome our student-athletes back to campus," Michigan State athletic director Bill Beekman said.

97.1 The Ticket
June 04, 2020 - 10:11 am
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EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan State student-athletes will begin returning to campus on June 15 in preparation for voluntary summer workouts. Returning student-athletes from the football, men's and women's basketball and volleyball programs will be the first to undergo testing.
 
Michigan State's plan was developed following safety guidelines from the State of Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and CDC guidelines as well as on-campus medical professionals, and guidelines provided by the Big Ten Conference and the NCAA.
 
"We are excited to welcome our student-athletes back to campus," Michigan State athletic director Bill Beekman said. "Our staff has put together a comprehensive plan with a clear priority on the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes. The strict protocols will allow our student-athletes to safely work out and begin to prepare for a return to competition."
 
"In implementing our plan we considered guidance from many experts," Assistant Vice President for Health Sciences/MSU Health Care Chief Clinical and Medical Officer/Interim Director of Athletic Medicine Dr. Anthony Avellino said. "Our only priority was the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes. Understanding that our knowledge surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve, we will continue to monitor the latest medical and public health information available and make adjustments as warranted." 
 
Returning student-athletes will report to the Clara Bell Smith Student-Athlete Academic Center on June 15 for COVID-19 testing at a dedicated time depending on sport. Following testing, student-athletes will be instructed to self-isolate in their on- or off-campus housing for one week. Student-athletes who return a positive test will be quarantined for a period of 10 days. On June 22, student-athletes who initially tested negative will be given a second round of COVID-19 testing. Student-athletes who receive a negative test during the second round will be cleared to begin voluntary summer workouts under the supervision of strength and conditioning and athletic training staffs. Student-athletes will be split into small workout groups based on the individuals with whom they live.
 
Michigan State athletics staff who will interact with student-athletes will also undergo testing. This includes strength and conditioning, athletic training, equipment and facilities staff members, as well as coaches who plan to meet with their student-athletes.
 
Anyone entering the Smith Center/Skandalaris/Duffy Daugherty Football building will enter through a single door at the Smith Center. At this check-in point, entrants will undergo a health screen for COVID-19 symptoms and a temperature check. Arrows will direct individuals in a singular direction throughout the building. Men's and women's basketball and volleyball student-athletes will encounter the same singular point of entry and health screening process at the Breslin Center. Common areas such as locker rooms, team lounges and fueling stations will remain closed. Rehabilitation appointments with athletic training and medical staff will be by appointment only.
 
Student-athletes will be provided face masks and required to wear them at all times in the facilities except during their workouts. They will also receive a water bottle that they are to bring to each workout. Since locker rooms will be closed, student-athletes will arrive at their dedicated facility dressed for their workout. They will bring with them the dirty clothes from the previous day's workout, and as they leave the facility for the day they will receive a clean set of workout clothes for the next day's workout.
 
Additional policies and procedures have been implemented to ensure that all areas and equipment utilized by student-athletes are cleaned thoroughly after each workout group, including both surface sanitizing procedures and equipment misting. In addition, high-touch areas will be regularly monitored and cleaned. Education on COVID-19 symptoms and how to stop the virus' spread will be communicated as well as posted throughout the facilities.
 
Per NCAA rules, voluntary, on-campus athletically related activities are permissible. Strength and conditioning coaches and athletic trainers may be present. Coaches may not be involved in a student-athletes workout. Through June 30, virtual non-physical activities (e.g., team meetings, film review, chalk talk) are permissible in all sports up to eight hours per week with one day off.
 
Freshmen and newcomers for football, men's and women's basketball and volleyball are scheduled to return on June 29. Hockey student-athletes will return to campus to begin their testing on July 6. Additional sports will return at a later date.