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:
Sources: The NCAA Division I Council voted to approve voluntary athletic activities in football, MBB and WBB to start June 1st and go through June 30th. There had been a moratorium on that through May 31st. Other sports will be acted on on a later date.
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:
Some sights and sounds from Day 1 of practice in pads for @Pitt_FB here at the Rooney Complex. Check out that Davis Beville DIME to kick off the clip. 👀 pic.twitter.com/3kvWspDzEF
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.