Big 12 Commish Bob Bowlsby: Student-Athletes Could Return to Campus in Mid-June

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IIMay 18, 2020

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - MARCH 12: Bob Bowlsby, commissioner of the Big 12, talks to the media as he announces that the Big 12 basketball tournament has been cancelled due to growing concerns with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak at the Sprint Center on March 12, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby gave a timeline for when student-athletes will be able to return to their respective campuses during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to 247Sports' Brandon Marcello, who relayed the following:

"Dates discussed in the Big 12 have ranged from June 1 to July 1, Bowlsby said Monday, and athletic directors are in a 'good spirit of compromise' concerning a vote on when student-athletes will be allowed to return to campuses across the 10-team conference. He believes the conference's board of presidents and chancellors are 'trending more toward the middle of the month' of June."

Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger previously reported on how the NCAA Division I Council is planning to ease into the return of college football:

Ross Dellenger @RossDellenger

NEWS: #NCAA DI Council can cross a major hurdle in football's return Wednesday, lifting a moratorium on on-campus training that would allow athletes to return June 1. Several programs, from SEC to Sun Belt, are mobilizing to begin voluntary workouts then https://t.co/3sJDiOabtH

Ross Dellenger @RossDellenger

No high-fiving, no weight spotting, no showering, no sharing towels & no passing of a football. Schools are expecting to start voluntary summer work in June. They can provide a pilot program for training camp & the season. “It’ll be different.” https://t.co/Wixst1xNyU

NCAA President Mark Emmert told ESPN's Heather Dinich on May 12 that there will not be a mandated uniform return to college sports, which means individual conferences can move at their own pace depending on decisions made by state governments and university presidents.

Emmert explained to Dinich:

"Normally, there's an agreed-upon start date for every sport, every season, but under these circumstances, now that's all been derailed by the pandemic. It won't be the conferences that can do that either. It will be the local and state health officials that say whether or not you can open and play football with fans.

"We already saw the Oregon governor offering her views on what's likely to happen in September. The Pac-12 can say, 'Gee, we'd all like to open up on this date,' but whether or not you can is going to be ultimately up to the state and local health officials and the campus itself making a decision whether or not they want to go forward."

Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk confirmed to reporters last week that a vote will be held Friday to determine whether the SEC will allow student-athletes to return to university facilities beginning on June 1:

Dave Matter @Dave_Matter

Sterk: SEC chancellors & presidents have a call May 22 to decide if they'll open facilities to athletes on June 1 or extend the current shutdown.

As for the Big 12, Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley has expressed opposition to a potential June 1 return date:

Brett McMurphy @Brett_McMurphy

SEC Presidents will vote next week whether to bring student-athletes back to campus on June 1. Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley: "All this talk of schools wanting to bring players back on June 1st is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard"

College athletics, including spring football, began to be either canceled or suspended on March 12.

The college football season is presently scheduled to begin on Aug. 29, though there is doubt that it will be able to start on time.