On Friday night, the NCAA released its Resocialization of Collegiate Sports: Action Plan Considerations document which outlines detailed steps colleges across the country can take in order to safely bring student-athletes back onto campus in the fall.
The considerations still follow simple practices such as maintaining good personal hygiene, wearing face mask and remaining six feet away from other people whenever possible. They also advise schools to test and screen student-athletes as often as possible, but the limited access to COVID-19 tests for thousands of athletes likely means athletic trainers and coaching staffs will have to remain hypervigilant of any potential symptoms.
Mental health considerations were also mentioned in the document as a recent NCAA survey revealed, “a majority of student-athletes surveyed reported experiencing high rates of mental distress since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.” Over a third have experienced sleep difficulties, more than a quarter reported feelings of sadness and loss and 1 in 12 said their feelings of depression constantly made it difficult to function.
The document also advises collaboration from school athletics departments with their respective institution’s return plans and any facilities outside of their college campuses.
Schools across the country have already released action plans to resume athletics on campus. The University of North Carolina released their action plan shortly before the NCAA released these considerations on Friday.
President Nyre has previously issued an outline for the safe return of all students back to campus in the fall, but there is yet to be anything released in regards to the athletics department’s plans. Director of Athletics and Recreation Bryan Felt has previously stated that they are working closely with the school’s policies to estbalish their own plan of action.
This list of considerations form the NCAA come as a follow-up to the three-phase plan they previously released in their Core Principles of Resocialization of Collegiate Sport.
Justin Sousa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find him on Twitter @JustinSousa99.