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NCAA clears football and basketball players to return to campuses on June 1

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NCAA Football: North Carolina State at Georgia Tech Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA is ready to start shaking its money-makers once again—or at least begin the process of proceeding patiently toward a path of preparedness. Yahoo’s Pete Thamel is reporting that athletes in football, men’s basketball, and women’s basketball have been cleared to return to campus for voluntary activities beginning June 1.

This doesn’t mean all of the players in these sports will flood back at once and it doesn’t change the fact that significant logistical hurdles are everywhere, but it is the first step toward getting the college football season started on time. That is, of course, issue number one.

Thamel:

Hypothetically, one athletic director said that means starting with 25 or 30 players in four separate groups amid a socially distanced weight room upon opening. From there, players will be added to the groups as they return to campus. In theory, as one source laid out, a full squad could be around and working out in groups in July.

Football coaches want a six-week window for serious prep work and camp prior to the season, and the above hypothetical would allow for just that while gradually bringing full rosters together on campus. That’s the ideal scenario void of setbacks—we’re also at a point where we don’t know the consequences of various states opening back up, and we might not realize those before June.

But I’m getting ahead of myself there. For now I’ll just continue to hope for the best.