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UCO athletics announces three-phase plan to reopen athletic facilities

The University of Central Oklahoma athletic department announced its three-phase plan for reopening on a limited basis beginning June 1.

The plan was assembled under the guidance of medical professionals and university leadership and was introduced earlier this week to UCO’s presidential cabinet. After review, UCO President Patti Neuhold-Ravikumar approved the plan on Friday. 

“We are ready to get back to allowing our coaches and student-athletes to do what they are here to do, but we know it is of the most importance to do that in a way that keeps the health and safety of every individual as the top priority,” UCO Interim Athletic Director Chuck Bailey said. 

“In working with the president and the university’s COVID-19 Task Force, we feel like we have come up with a phased plan that will allow us to reopen. We are going to be vigilant about health and safety as we do this. And we will continue to work with leadership in June and July to ensure we are maintaining the best practices.”

UCO Assistant Athletic Director Chris Brannick said if any issues involving COVID-19 arise during the plan, the department will “scrap it and start over.”

College athletics have been canceled since March due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is UCO’s first official plan for restarting. 

Here is the full plan and schedule:

Phase I will begin June 1 and run through June 19. Student-athletes will be allowed to return to campus for voluntary workouts during this phase. All student-athletes will be screened by the athletic training staff at the Sports Performance Center and must demonstrate they are symptom free before being cleared to participate. A daily questionnaire will be completed to track temperatures and other symptoms. 

Following NCAA and Mid America Intercollegiate Athletic Association rules, access to and use of facilities and equipment will be coordinated and scheduled through strength & conditioning personnel, athletic training and coaches, where permissible. Coaches and/or staff must be present for oversight during training. All team activities and workouts will occur on weekdays between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Only current UCO student-athletes who have been cleared by the athletic training staff may utilize the facilities.

Team activities and workouts will be limited to no more than 20 people, including coaches and/or trainers. Current CDC guidelines recommendation of six feet of distance between individuals will be enforced. Personal protection equipment (PPE) including gloves, masks, disinfecting wipes and sprays will be made available and used in accordance with university guidelines.

Phase II will begin June 22 and run through July 5. It will follow the same guidelines and best practices while allowing for no more than 40 people at one time to be involved in training activities.

Phase III will begin July 6 and normal operations will resume from that point. Physical distancing and use of personal protection equipment will remain strongly encouraged as will an emphasis on the cleaning and sanitizing of all equipment and areas of activity.



Related Photos
UCO mascot Buddy Broncho during the Central Oklahoma Broncos and Pittsburgh State Gorillas football game at Wantland Stadium on the UCO campus in Edmond Thursday,, September 5, 2019. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]

UCO mascot Buddy Broncho during the Central Oklahoma Broncos and Pittsburgh State Gorillas football game at Wantland Stadium on the UCO campus in Edmond Thursday,, September 5, 2019. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-01e13ae5f74e9432e3e2fddeb31447f0.jpg" alt="Photo - UCO mascot Buddy Broncho during the Central Oklahoma Broncos and Pittsburgh State Gorillas football game at Wantland Stadium on the UCO campus in Edmond Thursday,, September 5, 2019. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman] " title="UCO mascot Buddy Broncho during the Central Oklahoma Broncos and Pittsburgh State Gorillas football game at Wantland Stadium on the UCO campus in Edmond Thursday,, September 5, 2019. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>UCO mascot Buddy Broncho during the Central Oklahoma Broncos and Pittsburgh State Gorillas football game at Wantland Stadium on the UCO campus in Edmond Thursday,, September 5, 2019. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure>
James Jackson

James D. Jackson joined The Oklahoman in January 2020 to cover high school sports. He a University of Central Oklahoma graduate. During his time at UCO, James served as a sports reporter and Editor-in-Chief of the student newspaper, The Vista.... Read more ›

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