Liberty Athletics details plan for teams to return to campus beginning next week
Liberty Athletics is set to welcome its first full teams back to campus next week, beginning the process for student-athletes to return to voluntary workouts in preparation for the 2020-2021 athletics seasons.
Liberty University will begin its first set of summer residential classes next Monday, June 15. Liberty Athletics plans to use a hybrid of in-person and virtual online classes for its new and returning student-athletes during the summer class sessions.
The first full teams to return to campus following the cancellation of the spring semester will be Liberty’s football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball teams. Returning players began to make their way back to campus earlier this month, while freshman check-in will take place on Saturday, June 13.
Throughout the remainder of the summer, Liberty Athletics will gradually welcome more teams back to campus. Liberty University announced on June 2 it is developing plans to fully open the Fall 2020 semester with in-person instruction for on-campus students.
“Our athletics department COVID task force has worked diligently with University leadership, the local health district and Virginia Department of Health with the goal of serving the health and well-being of our student-athletes and staff,” said Director of Athletics Ian McCaw. “We are confident in our plan and excited to welcome back our student-athletes.”
Due to the growing concerns related to the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the ASUN Conference cancelled the remainder of the spring sports season and athletically related activities on its member institution campuses on March 13.
During this unprecedented downtime in the world of collegiate athletics, Liberty Athletics has kept portions of its athletics facilities open to its student-athletes in accordance with all guidelines set by the Virginia Department of Health and in keeping with NCAA rules.
Student-athletes who remained within the Commonwealth or showed no symptoms of the COVID-19 virus following a 14-day self-isolation period were allowed access to weight room facilities throughout campus for voluntary athletically related activities beginning June 1.
Under the new guidelines released by the Virginia Department of Health earlier today, the 14-day self-isolation period requirement has been lifted. Liberty Athletics will however have its student-athletes self-monitor their health upon return to campus in accordance with the guidance provided by the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Liberty Athletics will also continue to meet all guidelines set forth by Liberty University, the local Department of Health, the Commonwealth of Virginia, the ASUN Conference and the NCAA in terms of its return to campus policies and procedures.
The Liberty University Sports Medicine staff will continue daily screening practices with its student-athletes who desire to use the team’s weight room facilities for voluntary athletically related activities.
During this return to campus process, common areas in Liberty Athletics facilities, like locker rooms and player lounge areas, will continue to remain closed to student-athletes.
Liberty Athletics will continue to work in conjunction with the Liberty University Facilities Management staff to increase disinfecting around high traffic areas within Liberty’s athletics facilities.
Liberty Athletics will prohibit sharing of equipment in the weight room, and each piece of equipment will be properly cleaned and sanitized in between use by Liberty’s student-athletes.
Liberty’s strength and conditioning staff members, who are permitted to supervise voluntary workouts (work with student-athletes) during this time will do so with strict adherence to all Phase 2 guidelines of limited group size, social distancing, no sharing of equipment and increased disinfectant procedures. Student-athletes will also have workouts designed with attention to safely acclimate them back to physical activity.
The current process for Liberty student-athletes to return to campus follows the guidelines set forth by the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health during Phase II of the “Forward Virginia” plan. This plan provides guidelines to continue safely and gradually easing public health restrictions, while containing the spread of COVID-19.