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Pac-12 releases a pandemic policy, suspending team activities through end of May

The University of Utah football team opens spring camp at the Eccles Football Facility practice fields in Salt Lake City on Monday, March 2, 2020.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — As expected, the Pac-12 Conference announced it will extend its suspension of organized team activities through May 31 because of the coronavirus. The conference, which earlier this month voted to shut things down until at least March 29, released a pandemic policy after a meeting Monday with the Pac-12 CEOs.

The following rules are now in place for all 12 schools, including the University of Utah:

• No organized, in-person team activities of any type, in any location.

• No in-person, voluntary workouts, film study sessions, meetings, technique drills or captains’ practices/OTA sessions of any type, in any location until a permissible date is established by the NCAA.

• Virtual or online supervised voluntary workouts and skill instruction, regardless of location, are not permitted. All “virtual” group activities, including film study, are limited to two hours per week in football, and four hours per week in other sports. The Pac-12 is appealing to the NCAA to increase the two-hour football limit in the near future. Only countable coaches may conduct virtual film study, technical discussions, tactical sessions and other nonphysical activities.

• Coaches can recommend written, self-directed workout plans provided they are approved in accordance with proper procedures as outlined by each institution’s appropriate sport performance, medical and/or athletic training personnel (and in accordance with the NCAA recommendations on preventing catastrophic injury and death). Taped demonstration videos on respective workout plans are allowed in order to demonstrate proper form and technique. Institutional personnel may not supervise, conduct or monitor workouts.

• In-person, on campus nutrition may be provided in circumstances where student-athletes are unable to leave campus. Off-campus nutrition is limited to the distribution of products and substances normally available on campus. Examples include packaged vitamins, protein powder, shake mixes and protein bars.

• It is fully permissible to provide non-athletically-related support to student-athletes including:

— Sports medicine treatments, physical therapy and rehabilitation

— Academic support

— Mental health and wellness support

• It is permissible for institutions to provide off-campus student-athletes with apparel and personal equipment that is regularly available to student-athletes when they are on campus for conditioning workouts. The provision of other equipment is not to extend to rental, purchase or arrangement of conditioning or strength training equipment or machines (e.g. stationary bicycles, treadmills, free weights, benches or weight machines) but is intended to allow for reasonable supplies such as stretching band/straps, foam rollers, etc.

• The Pac-12 CEO group will convene regularly to assess changing circumstances and to make shared decisions regarding amendments to the above-listed policies. The policies noted will remain in effect until May 31.

• Decisions on the structure, schedule and components of training during the post-pandemic period will made as circumstances dictate.