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The NCAA moved on Wednesday to allow voluntary athletic activities beginning June 1st. The first college to announce that they are capitalizing on that date was the University of Wyoming, which announced that football and men’s and women’s basketball players can return to campus at that time.
“Our first priority is the health and well-being of our student-athletes, our campus community and the surrounding area,” UW Director of Athletics Tom Burman said, via Wyoming News Now. “We have done a deep dive into all of the options available, including quarantining and testing, and we feel good about our plan going forward. With quarantining and testing we believe there will be limited risk to our community, campus, staff and student-athletes.”
With regards to quarantining, the student athletes will all be required to do a 14-day self-isolation upon return to campus.
While Wyoming wouldn’t have been one of the many first schools any of us guessed as to who would be the first to announce athletes’ return, it’s logical in the sense that coronavirus has had a very minimal impact there; with just 19 deaths per 1 million of population, Wyoming trails only Montana — which has 15 — in doing the best in the continental United States at minimizing deaths per capita.
This is just a trickle for now, but the floodgates could be opening soon — SEC presidents are meeting virtually today before a Friday vote as to whether their athletes will return June 1st or June 15th.