The past three months have felt like a year for Temple students & athletes alike, but perhaps it seems that with Philadelphia entering the yellow phase in COVID-19 restrictions recently, things seem to be trending upwards. Earlier this week, Temple Athletics announced its Return to Participation Plan for student-athletes.
Starting Monday, June 22nd, student-athletes will be able to voluntarily workout at the Edberg-Olson Football Complex on Diamond Street, along with other campus facilities. Aside from the athletes themselves, the only other persons who will be present for the workouts are athletic trainers and strength & conditioning coaches to ensure the safety of the student-athletes.
In a statement, soon to be ex-AD Patrick Kraft exclaims his excitement for the return of Temple’s student-athletes to campus, but he stresses that Temple Athletics will do its best to keep athletes safe.
“As we developed our plans for a return to participation, we made the health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes and staff the top priority. Executive Senior Associate AD/SWA Jessica Reo and her committee have worked closely with our medical team, strength and conditioning staff and facilities personnel to ensure that all is in place to safeguard our young men and women.”
The aforementioned Reo, who is the Chairwoman of the Temple Athletics’ Return to Participation Committee, has been collecting data from the NCAA, other institutions, and CDC physicians to initiate a return plan specific to Temple Athletics.
As part of this plan, as you would imagine, Temple Athletics has conscientiously prepared its facilities and have instituted a number of health protocols to ensure safety for student athletes. These protocols include, but aren’t limited to:
- Implementing social distancing procedures.
- A screening process for all athletes & staff, which includes COVID-19 testing.
- A furnishing of personal protective equipment for medical staff; setting rules for when athletes should wear face masks.
- An establishment of single entry and exit procedures and the minimization of facility use.
- Air circulating fans to placed inside of tents, which will house strength & conditioning equipment.
- Adhering to Pennsylvania state guidelines with groups of no larger than 25 working out as part of the aforementioned yellow phase.
With the anticipated return of a full return for all Fall sports, more student-athletes are expected to return to campus for workouts in July. Only time will tell if this return plan was rushed, or if it was implemented at the perfect time, as for now, we can only hope for the safety of our students, athletes, and staff moving forward.