USC football: What the NCAA vote to allow on campus workouts means for the Trojans

USC football needs to return to practice by late July. (Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy)
USC football needs to return to practice by late July. (Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy) /

USC football will have to wait to hold workouts, even with the NCAA vote.

On Wednesday, the NCAA Division I Council voted to allow voluntary activities for football and other sports beginning on June 1. Unfortunately, USC football will still have to wait to find out if they will be open to that policy.

The Athletic first reported the news of the vote, which would open the door for summer player-run practices and Fall Camp to ultimately begin.

However, Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News pointed out that Pac-12 presidents are slated to meet next week and will decide then whether the conference will also lift its suspension of team activities or extend it beyond May 31.

What does the allowance of on-campus workouts mean for USC football?

USC’s Summer Session II will be conducted online until its close on Aug. 11. If the Trojans don’t plan to have athletes on campus while students aren’t, you’d expect practice to be delayed until that date.

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However, the move by the NCAA Division I council and advancements in California and Los Angeles County reopening plans point towards the possibility of sports returning, at least in the sense of practice, sooner than August. Officials in Los Angeles have now set a goal of July 4 for the full reopening of the economy.

If USC wants to start the 2020 season on time — on Sept. 5 against Alabama in Arlington, Texas — they will need to be able to get on the practice field by at least July 25. Pac-12 coaches indicated during webinars put on by the conference that they would need a minimum of six weeks to get their teams conditioned for the season.

If the Pac-12 follows the NCAA’s lead, the timetable for getting Fall Camp started would appear positive.

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Even if the conference opts to extend their suspension of team activities for another month, there is still hope of an on-time start. After all, that Independence Day reopening date for Los Angeles being achieved would almost certainly give universities comfort over allowing their student-athletes to return to campus.

As with all things related to the coronavirus and the restart of sports, nothing is certain. Still, progress is being made toward developing answers, finally.

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