NCAA to lift moratorium on football, basketball workouts

FILE — In this is an April 25, 2018, file photo, NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis is viewed. College sports programs are already being cut and more are likely on the chopping block. The coronavirus pandemic has triggered fears of an economic meltdown on campuses around the country. The cancellation of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament cost schools $375 million and more losses are expected, especially if football season is disrupted in the fall. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

University of Tulsa student-athletes will return to campus for training no earlier than July 6, TU associate athletic director Don Tomkalski announced during a media Zoom call with TU football coach Philip Montgomery Thursday.

The announcement came one day after the NCAA Division I Council voted to allow football and men’s and women’s basketball athletes to return to campus for voluntary team activities as soon as June 1. Previously, the NCAA had placed a moratorium on such activities until May 31 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As NCAA member conferences deliberate how to approach the process, some schools have jumped ahead by declaring target dates. Louisville, for instance, announced a phased-in approach Thursday morning that allows a select number of athletes to return for coronavirus testing June 3, before starting workouts June 8.

Montgomery was supportive of TU’s more cautious approach, saying: “The most important thing for us is the safety of our kids. We want to make sure our campus is safe. We want to make sure our facilities are a safe environment for them. You don’t want to rush something and then all of a sudden a bunch of things pop up and you end up having to shut it right back down.

“So I think we’re being cautious that when we’re bringing them back we’re giving them the best opportunity to be in a great environment and have a chance to stay on the right side of things.”

The Golden Hurricane’s football season opener against Toledo is scheduled for Sept. 5.


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Guerin Emig

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guerin.emig@tulsaworld.com

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Sports Columnist

Proud father of Gretchen and Holden. Devoted husband to Christy, who has been my best friend since biology class at Booker T. Washington. I covered the Oklahoma Sooners for 15 years. That was both challenging and rewarding. Now I get to write columns.