State releases guidelines for college athletics, Newsom warns them not to ‘prioritize their economic interests’


California quarterback Chase Garbers (7) scores the winning touchdown against Stanford during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019 in Stanford, Calif. California won 24-20. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — The California Department of Public Health released guidelines and conditions Friday for college athletics.

State officials say that, due to the higher risks associated with play, the Institutions for High Education will be expected to ensure full compliance with the state guidelines for college athletics.

“California will consider further action if the NCAA or other sport institutions fail to meet these requirements and prioritize their economic interests over the health and well-being of players – and their families,” added Governor Gavin Newsom.

The state says they will expect campus leaders to adhere to the guidelines and to ensure player protections, including the preservation of scholarships and prohibition of requiring players to sign waivers of liability.

The guidelines include:  

  • Teams requiring masks for coaches, staff, media, and any players not engaged in play at each match.
  • Practicing may resume, only if regular periodic COVID-19 testing of athletes and support staff must be established and implemented by the IHE. Isolation and quarantine will be required upon a positive test.

Officials said that competition between teams without spectators can begin only if:  

  • IHE can provide COVID-19 testing and results within 72 hours of competition in high contact risk sports.
  • Athletics departments should consider how to share testing results and related safety assurances to opposing teams before the start of an event in a manner consistent with applicable health information and education privacy laws. 
  • In conjunction with local public health officials and contact tracers, schools must in place a mechanism for notifying other schools should an athlete from one team test positive within 48 hours after competition with another team.
  • Teams must follow the college athletic association (e.g., NCAA), conference-specific, and institutions of higher education-specific “return to play” safety plans.

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April 29 2021 12:00 am

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