Group of Hoosiers football players to start return to campus Monday

Indiana football players will start returning to campus Monday and can resume voluntary workouts June 15 as part of a phased-in plan announced by the athletic department.

Coach Tom Allen expects about 65 players to travel to Bloomington, Indiana, next week. Another 25 players are slated to come back June 29, and the third and final group is set for July 6.

During a Zoom call, Allen told reporters all players will be tested after arriving. They will then be quarantined for two or three days, awaiting test results.

Players also will undergo an orientation program detailing the procedures and policies in place before they will be cleared to start weight lifting and running in groups of 10 or smaller. Each player must complete a daily medical check and agree to abide by a series of CDC guidelines, too.

The plan calls for roommates to work out together and to break up position groups in hopes of containing the spread of COVID-19 — if there is a positive test.

“You can’t say there’s no risk; there’s risk in everything you do,” Allen said. “I’ve had some questions (from parents) that I don’t have answers to yet, like what’s July going to look like or what’s the season going to look like. You just have to communicate with them over and over and make sure they feel good about it.”

Allen says he believes the Hoosiers would need about six weeks of practice to be ready for the season opener against Wisconsin, currently scheduled for Sept. 4.

The plan also gives men’s and women’s basketball players a resumption date of June 18 for voluntary workouts, followed by women’s soccer July 6, volleyball July 8, men’s soccer July 13, field hockey July 15 and cross country Aug. 18.

Fall classes are tentatively scheduled to start Aug. 24.