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Michigan announces return protocols for football and basketball

A statement from Michigan outlining their plan to return to sports.

NCAA FOOTBALL: NOV 05 Maryland at Michigan Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The University of Michigan announced on Sunday night that they have a plan for student-athletes returning to sports. The protocols have been implemented for Michigan football, men’s basketball, and women’s basketball.

Statement from U of M:

— The University of Michigan Athletic Department announced that football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball student-athletes will be welcomed back to campus starting the week of June 15 should they choose to participate in voluntary strength and conditioning workouts. At this time, those are the only three sports allowed by the NCAA to participate in voluntary summer workouts.

Student-athletes will return to campus in four phases, with each group of student-athletes progressing through a detailed process to ensure the well-being, safety and ongoing health of student-athletes and staff.

“We are pleased to start the process of welcoming student-athletes back to our campus through a medical and public health-informed protocol and plan,” said Warde Manuel, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics. “We continue to take the utmost care to ensure that all student-athletes and staff return to a safe and healthy environment.

“Our protocols and plans have been developed by medical experts from across U-M’s campus, who have collaborated with officials at the local, state and national levels. I appreciate the contributions and comprehensive efforts across so many groups and in coordination with the Big Ten Conference and peers across the NCAA.”

The detailed process for reopening the athletic campus for student-athletes includes a 14-day pre-report risk assessment, a six-day resocialization period to campus, and daily risk assessments, including temperature checks.

Included in the resocialization period are comprehensive health and welfare assessments consisting of COVID-19 and antibody testing, team physicals, concussion baseline testing and assessment, sleep surveys, sport-appropriate fitness testing, mobility screening, body composition, nutrition evaluations and regular medical testing.

Student-athletes and staff will have daily screening before admittance to facilities. They will also be provided items and guidelines necessary to participate in team functions (social distancing, wearing masks, hand hygiene, etc.). All facilities on the Stephen M. Ross Athletic Campus will go through rigorous cleaning and sanitization, with high-risk areas, including locker rooms, strength and conditioning spaces and athletic training rooms, cleaned daily via electrostatic sanitation. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will enter a defined quarantine protocol per medical guidelines.

The second phase of returning student-athletes to U-M’s campus includes sports that compete in the fall: men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s tennis, and volleyball. Those programs will report to campus following the successful reintroduction to the campus community of phase one student-athletes.

We’ve been waiting for some kind of official statement in regards to Michigan’s protocols for limiting the spread of the coronavirus, so this statement brings clarity to the situation. The football team are currently having voluntary workouts and will begin mandatory workouts on July 1.