FAU will allow football players to return on campus June 8

Brian White expects the full team back in late June.

The+team+was+scheduled+to+start+spring+practices+on+March+23+but+were+cancelled+because+of+the+coronavirus.+Photo+by+Alex+Liscio.+

The team was scheduled to start spring practices on March 23 but were cancelled because of the coronavirus. Photo by Alex Liscio.

Zachary Weinberger, Sports Editor

As the college football regular season in the fall is still in question, FAU football players are allowed to return to campus on Jun. 8.

Vice President and Director of Athletics Brian White released a statement on Wednesday about the matter emphasizing a “phased-in” process for students heading back to Boca Raton. 

“Our number-one priority, as always, is the safety of our student-athletes, staff, and community,” White said. “Over the last several weeks, our staff has worked together with University leadership, university, and local health officials and Conference USA to develop this plan for a safe return to campus for these student-athletes, coaches, and staff.

In his statement, Head coach Willie Taggart said that the staff is committed to “the health and well-being of our student-athletes” and admits this summer’s training will be different.

“While it won’t be what would be considered a normal summer training program, the guys are very much looking forward to being back in the weight room, on the field and around their teammates and coaches,” Taggart said. “As a newer coaching staff, we’re looking forward to this opportunity to continue getting to know our young men, as well.”

Conference USA suspended spring sports competition on March 12 due to concerns dealing with the coronavirus which included athletic programs like basketball and baseball, but a day later, White pulled the plug on all practices including spring camp for football. 

“We will enact a number of safety procedures in order to maintain a healthy, safe environment for everyone based on best practice guidelines from agencies such as the Florida Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization,” White said. “Our student-athletes are role models in many aspects of their lives and I expect them to continue those examples while these strict protocols are in place.”

Specifics on the safety procedures are yet to be determined. 

The Owls are set to open the season on the road as they face the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Sept. 3. Their first home game will be against Stony Brook on the 12th, where if a season is played, the plan on fan attendance still hasn’t yet been decided. 

The full schedule can be found here

Zachary Weinberger is the sports editor of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @ZachWeinberger.