Fresno State has a plan for student-athletes to return, seeking approval

Fresno State Athletic Director Terry Tumey (left) accepts a Fresno State cap from university President Dr. Joseph I. Castro, right, on June 25, 2018. (Dan Waterhouse/The Collegian)

A plan for student-athletes to return appears to be finalized. 

In a statement released Friday afternoon, Fresno State President Dr. Joseph I. Castro said, “Fresno State, with the guidance from medical experts, has developed a bold and creative plan to begin returning student-athletes to campus so they can prepare for Mountain West competition, if health conditions allow.”

The statement did not specify any details of the plan.

“Our goal is to secure approval of this plan by local health officials and the California State University Chancellor’s Office by the end of September,” Castro said.

Fresno State is the only Mountain West (MW) school that has not yet brought its student-athletes back to campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The statement from Castro comes after a report by Stadium’s Brett McMurphy who wrote that the MW is “aggressively exploring” options for an 8-game fall football season.

In that report, Fresno State, along with Hawaii and Air Force, was the one of three “unknowns” when it came to full seasons being played.

There is no official word from the MW on a possible return of fall sports.

On Wednesday, the Big Ten conference reversed its decision to cancel play until the spring and will resume its football season starting the weekend of Oct. 23.

Fresno State women’s and men’s basketball recently found out its season will start Nov. 25. For the other sports at Fresno State, their seasons remain unknown, but the latest update is a good sign.

On Sept. 8, the MW released an update saying that the “Board of Directors, athletic directors, health and safety advisory committee, conference staff, institutional athletics administrators, coaches and student-athlete representatives have been meeting frequently to consider new scheduling models, enhanced medical protocols and revised management plans that can facilitate a responsible return to play.”

Along with this, the MW said that winter and spring sports are “currently expected to proceed as originally planned and would be conducted concurrently with the rescheduled sports in what would be a robust spring offering.”

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