NCAA OKs voluntary football, basketball activity


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The NCAA took a step forward Wednesday, as the Division I Council approved the start of voluntary activities in football, men's basketball and women's basketball beginning June 1 and running through June 30. Yahoo! Sports' Pete Thamel had the initial report:

A decision on the return of other sports is expected to be made "as soon as possible," per Thamel.

Within this, teams will still need to follow any restrictions at the state and local level as well as any rules in place from conference and university officials. Currently, Allegheny County sits in the "yellow phase," which permitted the reopening of some businesses and the resumption of some activities, all limited to 25-person gatherings at the most.

How local colleges such as Pitt and Duquesne could fit into that structure remains to be seen, although governor Tom Wolf and health secretary Dr. Rachel Levine have discouraged organized team sports as part of the yellow phase.

Still, the announcement marks progress and a small stride toward normalcy with college athletics. Pitt football most recently practiced March 6 at the Rooney Complex in what was both their first and last practice in pads ahead of the 2020 season:

Pitt basketball, meanwhile, was eliminated March 11 in the second round of the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, N.C., by North Carolina State. The tournament was then canceled altogether the next day due to the spread of the coronavirus and college athletics were shut down altogether shortly after.

The re-opening of voluntary activities certainly doesn't indicate a full return, but it's a clear step in that direction.

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