Georgia Tech to reopen for voluntary workouts June 15

In the first step of a multi-phase plan that is hoped will lead to the football team playing its season opener against Clemson as scheduled Sept. 3, Georgia Tech will reopen its athletic facilities for voluntary workouts for all Yellow Jackets athletes in the Atlanta area beginning June 15.

Thursday’s announcement followed the NCAA’s May 20 decision to permit Division I football and basketball players to return to campus for voluntary training as early as June 1, followed by a subsequent ruling to open campuses on the same date for athletes in all sports. The news release stated that the school was following guidance from school administration, the University System of Georgia, the office of Governor Brian Kemp and public health officials.

Should the first phase begin as planned, the workouts would be the first conducted at Tech since the campus was closed in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

On-campus weight rooms and athletic training facilities will be available for usage on a voluntary basis during this first phase. Among requirements, training groups will be limited to no more than 10 athletes and two staff inside a facility at one time, and group sizes will be reduced for smaller facilities. Social distancing will be required.

Temperature checks will be performed for athletes and staff upon arrival to the facility. Likewise, a daily health-check questionnaire will be required prior to arriving on campus.

The groupings will be consistent throughout Phase I. All equipment and facilities will be thoroughly sanitized after each use. Locker rooms will not be available.

The policies listed in the news release did not include medical screenings or tests for COVID-19, policies that other schools that are opening campus for their athletes are following.

As on-campus housing has not reopened, the training is available only to athletes living locally. The plan for Phase II has not been finalized, nor has a date been set.

Tech also announced Thursday that it plans to resume research activity “for the purpose of fulfilling research grants and contracts, and to ensure student degree progress” in June.

All summer classes, as is the case throughout the University System of Georgia, are online in May and throughout the summer semesters. The institute has permitted “only minimal staff” on campus “to ensure continuity of certain services.”

In a statement, athletic director Todd Stansbury said that “it is going to be really special” to see Jackets athletes return to campus in the safety of the athletics department’s facilities and under the supervision of its staff.

“I’m grateful to everyone that has put so much hard work into formulating a plan for student-athletes and staff to be able to safely return to campus for voluntary activities” Stansbury said. “I’m also very happy for our student-athletes. Despite the incredible challenges, they have done amazing things both academically and athletically in the nearly three months that they’ve been away from campus, and done so with amazingly positive attitudes.”