While all spring sports and on-site athletic activities may be canceled, the NCAA has issued a decision allowing teams to hold more virtual meetings amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Starting April 20, Division I coaches of all sports will be entitled to up to eight hours per week of “countable non-physical virtual activities”. These activities include meetings such as movie reviews, chalk discussions and team meetings, the Division I council coordinating committee decided on Wednesday.
At the request of the Division I Student Athlete Advisory Committee, the Committee will also require that athletes be given one day off per week.
While coaches have been able to stay in touch with their teams via text messages, social media or occasional virtual meetings, this allows them coaching opportunities outside of practice.
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There are some things teams won’t be able to do, however.
All required physical athletic activities continue to be prohibited due to the legal requirement that a certified sports safety staff member be present during these activities. Teams are also prohibited from requiring activities starting one week before the start of a school’s final exam period for the Spring 2020 term until the end of the final exam period.
“This change not only allows coaches to continue educating their student-athletes, but also promotes the connectivity that comes with team activities,” said Penn Board Chair and Athletic Director Grace Calhoun. “Regular and individual checks between student-athletes and coaches remain permitted and are encouraged. “
When all spring sports were canceled earlier this year, NCAA rules then considered all sports to be out of season, with off-season conditioning rules applying. This limited what coaches could ask of their student-athletes. The coordinating committee said it has committed to re-evaluating access in mid-May to determine whether any extensions or changes to access are appropriate.