The UCLA Bruins acted quickly this week once state laws in California allowed. The Bruins have opened up Phase One of players returning to campus, stating that it’s the first step in a four-phase plan to get student-athletes back on the field as quickly and safely as possible.
The four teams in the state of California are behind the 8-ball, so to speak, as the rest of the Pac-12 teams have already begun their processes of returning student-athletes but due to the delays in California state laws, UCLA had to wait until this week to start their process.
The conference had cleared football players to return to voluntary workouts as early as June 15, so while three-four days later doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, it actually is because that’s three-four days early that those other eight teams will be allowed to get their players on the field.
Nevertheless, a good sign for UCLA is the fact that they are indeed the first of the California-based teams to get their student-athletes back on campus.
Here’s the full release from UCLA:
In accordance with current state and local health orders, UCLA Athletics will enter Phase One of its four-phase Return to Training plan beginning June 22. The department has worked closely with campus leadership, medical experts, public health officials and the Pac-12 COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee to develop a comprehensive plan for voluntary return that prioritizes the health and safety of student-athletes, coaches and staff.
Starting Monday, Fall Olympic sport (men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, men’s water polo and cross country) student-athletes who live locally and football student-athletes may choose to return to campus to begin the process of returning to voluntary and permissible activities. The Return to Campus phase (Phase One) will consist of COVID-19 and antibody testing and comprehensive screening of both physical and mental well-being prior to the Return to Athletic Performance activities (Phase Two).
To allow student-athletes to make an informed decision on whether to return, team-by-team communication and detailed education on the plan will take place this week for all student-athletes who are eligible to return on Monday, along with their families.
Additional details on the return plan will be outlined in a virtual press conference later this week.