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May 31, 2023

Penn State Athletics Begins Phased Return June 8

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa – As part of Penn State’s overall planning process and working with University officials, Penn State Athletics will begin a phased approach to return to campus beginning June 8 with 75 football student-athletes. Intercollegiate Athletics is part of a phased return for the University that includes other student groups who may also require access to specialized facilities, in-person mentoring or early arrival for successful transition to the fall semester.

Following CDC and local government guidelines, as well as tracking and implementing recommendations coming from the NCAA Sport Science Institute and the Big Ten Conference’s task force for Emerging Infectious Disease, the Penn State Athletics sports performance team developed in-depth protocols for the student-athletes and staff. Student-athlete feedback and concerns also were part of the development process. The protocols include wearing of masks, daily health screening and small group activities, as well as additional usage and sanitation regulations facilities, including carefully guided access to buildings.

Student-athletes have begun a prescribed quarantine in preparation for their return to campus and will be tested and quarantined upon their return. Those student-athletes who are medically cleared may then participate in voluntary on-campus workouts beginning June 15. Those workouts will be limited in size (groups of less than 20 student-athletes) and will be supervised by Penn State’s performance enhancement and sports medicine staffs.

Penn State Athletics’ return to campus plan will implement and strictly enforce the following protocols:

  • Education for all student-athletes, coach and staff on Penn State’s COVID safety protocols.
  • Mandatory daily health screening questionnaire and temperature check for student-athletes, coaches and staff.
  • Required use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Adherence to social distancing guidelines for meetings and workouts, including the use of smaller groups for performance enhancement session.
  • Enhanced cleaning for all athletics facilities.
  • Limited and monitored access to facilities.

“We are looking forward to the return of our student-athletes in the coming weeks and hope this is the first steps to a full return for the fall,” said Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Sandy Barbour. “We are appreciative of President Barron for including ICA in this first wave of students coming back to campus.

“We are very confident in our plan and will continue to keep the health, safety and wellbeing of our students, coaches, staff and community as our top priority,” continued Barbour. “Our outstanding sports performance group worked with medical experts at both the University, conference and national level, as well as University leadership to develop an extensive return to campus plan for our student-athletes, staff and facilities.”

Penn State will use a phased return to campus for its 31 programs. Return times for additional Nittany Lion student-athletes will be announced at a later date.

All cohorts of students returning to campus will be required to follow University guidance and continue practicing safety measures, including wearing face masks/cloth coverings in public, observing social distancing and avoiding large groups. For the latest information on Penn State’s response to the coronavirus, go to

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