The Syracuse Orange announced on Tuesday night that student-athletes could return to campus on June 8 to begin voluntary training camps.
In addition, SU announced a variety of protocols and regulations to safely reopen the campus and various athletic facilities for use.
“We are confident that we can minimize risk of viral transmission among staff and student-athletes while at the same time restoring some sense of normalcy to our training and preparation schedule,” said SU director of athletics John Wildhack.
Student-athletes will be isolated and tested for COVID-19 once they arrive on campus. Syracuse says they could be isolated as long as 14 days. Notably, not every school in the country is testing upon arrival. Arkansas previously announced it will only test student-athletes that exhibit symptoms.
A “pods” concept will also be used to limit contact between others. Players will only be allowed to contact those within their pod as well as assigned staff. These pods are limited to 10 student-athletes and will eventually grow to 30 players and then the entire team.
“The health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes, our staff and the campus and Central New York communities is my top priority. Period. We will be rigorous in the testing and monitoring of our student-athletes, and my staff and I will be working diligently to educate our team on prevention and detection,” said Syracuse head football coach Dino Babers. “We all have a part to play in keeping our community safe and that’s a responsibility I take seriously. My players know what is expected of them, and I will hold them accountable.”
Social distancing measures will be enforced as well as face masks in athletic facilities, although student-athletes won’t be required to wear masks during workouts. All equipment is also scheduled to be cleaned and sanitized before and after each use by players.
Syracuse stressed that these training camps are voluntary and football training camp is still set to begin on August 5. Football is the only Orange sport with a released schedule as they open the season on the road at Boston College on September 4. SU’s home opener is still set for September 19 against Colgate, which would be the first official Orange athletics event in the newly renovated Carrier Dome.