President Stanley gives guidelines, COVID-19 testing system for student-athletes


Michigan State President Samuel L. Stanley/Photo Courtesy: MSU University Communications

Brian Goldsmith, General Assignment Reporter

President Stanley announced Tuesday that Spartan Stadium “will likely see reduced capacity” this football season in East Lansing. Michigan State will offer season ticket holders a few options, including refunds.

“I am proud that the Big Ten Conference continues to approach the issue of a return to fall sports in a student-athlete-centered way,” President Stanley said in a statement Tuesday.

The university began by bringing back athletes in preparation for voluntary summer workouts as of June 15.

The university said that its first priority is testing football, men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball athletes for COVID-19 in order to return to summer workouts. The plan to bring back student-athletes requires two negative tests before allowing them to begin voluntary summer workouts within facilities.

A second negative test will allow students to begin voluntary workouts under the supervisor of the strength and athletic training staff, the university said.

MSU said student-athletes will have to be dressed for their dedicated workouts before coming to the facilities as locker rooms will be closed.

The university said student-athletes will also be required to wear face masks provided by MSU in its facilities at all times, except during their workouts. They will also be required to bring a university provided water bottle to all workouts.

Athletic training staff exposed to student-athletes will also be subjected to testing, along with strength coaches, facilities and equipment staff and coaches who intend to meet with their players.

The university said student-athletes will be split into small workout groups based on their living arrangements.

MSU said a system of polices and procedures have been put in place according to the CDC and safety guidelines from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Big Ten conference and the NCAA to best protect its student-athletes. The university will also take extra safety precautions for workout equipment to be cleaned and surface-sanitized after each group workout including monitoring and cleaning high-touch areas.

Brian Goldsmith is a general assignment reporter for Impact 89FM WDBM. Follow him on Twitter at @briangoldsmitha.