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Frazier: NIU aiming for June 15 return date for football, basketball players

NIU Head Coach Mark Montgomery looks on during the first half of the game March 6th while taking on Ball State.
NIU Head Coach Mark Montgomery looks on during the first half of the game March 6th while taking on Ball State.

NIU athletic director Sean Frazier announced on Wednesday that football, men's basketball and women's basketball team members are in the process of returning campus, with a tentative start day of June 15 for summer workouts for the three sports.

In his regular Frazier's Corner newsletter, Frazier said that once workouts return, they will be held in small groups, and the staff will wear face coverings.

Frazier said athletes on those three teams have started COVID-19 testing as of Wednesday and will continue for the next two weeks.

After that, the athletes will undergo a health assessment an evaluation from doctors and athletic trainers.

"We will then allow our sports performance staff to assess each individual’s fitness to ensure that we are safely beginning these voluntary workouts, and our compliance office will clear everyone according to NCAA guidelines," Frazier said in the newsletter. "Our target date for those teams to begin workout groups in the Northwestern Medicine Sports Performance Center and the Chessick Practice Center is June 15th."

Frazier said the plan came in collaboration between the athletic staff, state government, local public health officials, and the NIU medical team.

"I know the student-athletes are eager to come back, but we will take the time to do it right," Frazier said. "This return to campus, and all workouts, are voluntary and will be led by the sports performance staff. Physical distancing guidelines, including the wearing of masks/face coverings by the staff, will be followed in the Yordon Center and workouts will be held in small groups, and even outside whenever possible. Strict protocols for cleaning are also in place and meetings will continue to be held virtually."

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