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SEC to allow in-person athletics activities to resume in June

The SEC will allow voluntary in-person activities at the discretion of each university starting June 8.

SEC schools can continue in-person athletics activities starting on June 8, according to a release from the conference on Friday.

Southeastern Conference campuses may resume voluntary in-person athletics activities at the discretion of each university, the conference said. This will be under the strict supervision of designated university personnel and safety guidelines developed by each institution.

The athletics department will begin procedures allowing student-athletes to return and resume activities on June 8, Tennessee Director of Athletics Phillip Fulmer said in a statement.

"We are prepared and excited for the return of student-athletes to campus," Fulmer said.

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The conference said this will begin a transition period allowing student-athletes to gradually adapt to full training and sports activities after they were canceled because of COVID-19.

Certain activities will be allowed based on the ability to participate in controlled and safe environments, while also maintaining recommended social distancing measures, the release said. 

The SEC said the NCAA has limited this to voluntary activities supervised by strength and conditioning personnel. The NCAA regulations permit their supervision of voluntary on-campus athletics activities for football, men's basketball and women's basketball.

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 Fulmer said staff and student-athletes should be prepared for a "new normal," as the athletics department implements changes. 

"Health and safety have been our top priority as we've gone about this planning process, and we'll continue to follow guidance from medical experts and health officials as we navigate the coming weeks," Fulmer said.

The SEC said organized practices and other required physical activities continue to be prohibited in all sports. In-person camps and coaches clinics are suspended until July 31.

"The safe and healthy return of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators and our greater university communities have been and will continue to serve as our guiding principle as we navigate this complex and constantly-evolving situation," SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said.

Sankey said at this time, the SEC is preparing to begin the fall sports season as currently scheduled.

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