Iowa to allow football and basketball players to return in June

Published: May. 22, 2020 at 10:13 PM CDT
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There's still no guarantee for a 2020 college football season, but colleges and universities are taking the first steps in re-opening their facilities to all athletes.

On Friday, the NCAA Division I Council announced that all student-athletes may participate in voluntary on-campus workouts starting on June 1. The University of Iowa later announced its plans to allow coaches and players back on campus.

Selected coaches and staff members can return to campus on June 1. Football players can return for voluntary workouts on June 8, and men's and women's basketball players can return on June 15. This will be the first time athletes have been on campus in nearly three months.

"There's definitely a lot of unfinished business that I want to complete, the team wants to complete," said Iowa senior wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette.

Ever since the facilities closed three months ago, football players have had to be creative with their workouts, whether it was finding a field for drills or turning a garage into a weight room.

"I have a bar bell and some 45-pound plates, so all the weights that I need from the facility," said junior defensive lineman Austin Schulte. "Then I built a weight bench and a squat rack out of 2x4s, and put a pull-up bar in my garage."

Iowa is putting the finishing touches on its safety guidelines. The players know they'll have to be ready for whatever comes next.

"I want to be back, but I don't want to be rushed back, because you don't want a second wave or something to pop up," said senior defensive end Chauncey Golston. "So, I'm concerned in everyone's well-being. But, I want to be back playing football."

Iowa is scheduled to open the 2020 season at home versus Northern Iowa on Sept. 5.