HUNTINGTON — Football wasn’t the only sport getting good news on a return to athletics Wednesday evening.
During its Wednesday virtual meeting, the NCAA Division I Council approved a symmetrical plan for men’s and women’s basketball for summer athletics activities. The adopted plan extends the current guidelines, which allow voluntary athletics activities and up to eight hours of virtual nonphysical activities through July 19.
On July 20, mandatory summer athletics activities for teams can begin and continue until the earliest of one of three scenarios: (1) eight weeks have elapsed; (2) school’s first day of classes; or (3) Sept. 15. During that eight-week period, required virtual nonphysical activities, which include team meetings, individual meetings and film review, can continue to be conducted, but virtual and in-person activities cannot exceed a combined eight hours per week.
Division I Council chair M. Grace Calhoun, who is also the athletic director at Penn, said student-athlete health and safety remain a top priority with the NCAA.
“The Council worked to balance the desire to get student-athletes training again with the need to repopulate our campuses and athletics facilities gradually and safely, within all campus, local and state mandates,” Calhoun said.
While the summer activities plan was passed by the Division I Council, a recommendation by the men’s and women’s basketball oversight committees in regards to recruiting was deferred during Wednesday’s meeting. The men’s and women’s basketball oversight committees were seeking alterations to the 2020-21 recruiting calendar due to the COVID-19 pandemic taking away a key summer period for recruiting and evaluating players.
However, the Council decided to forgo that decision on Wednesday in an effort to gather information and receive additional input for consideration of the measures, which include a pair of recruiting weekends in late August in which two coaches could recruit.
The majority of September would also become a recruiting period for coaches to make evaluations under NCAA guidelines. Under the recommendation, those evaluations would be permitted at regularly-scheduled scholastic events (contests and practices), open gyms and fall leagues.
The Division I Council will have a teleconference in the coming weeks to vote on the recruiting calendar proposals.