UWG Football

An Athletics Working Group, led by leadership in UWG’s Business and Financial Services division, reviewed UWG’s athletic program and examined issues, needs, and concerns related to restarting intercollegiate athletics for the Fall 2020 term.

Based on this review and feedback from identified units, UWG will execute the following plans to support the return of athletic competition for the Fall 2020 term.

Athletics Governing Bodies

UWG Athletics participates in athletic competition in Division II of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). UWG is also a member of the Gulf South Conference (GSC). These two governing bodies provide the guidelines, policies, and procedures that govern the participation and administration of athletic events. As part of UWG’s plan to return athletic competition back to campus in the Fall 2020 term, UWG will abide by guidelines from governing and guiding agencies.

The NCAA DII President’s Council held a meeting on May 19, 2020, to review recommendations for return to play for Fall 2020 sports (football, volleyball, soccer, men's and women's cross country, and men's and women's golf). At this meeting, they also reviewed a proposal that will reduce the minimum number of contests required for championship selection. At this point, the GSC main office will begin determining schedules and the number of contests fall sports will participate in within the conference.

A key factor in determining when the start date of conference competition will be is related to when all conference schools will be open with student-athletes on campus with the ability to begin training and preparations for competitions. It would take a minimum of 21 days for teams to prepare for competition, but the minimum days of preparation may vary by sport.

UWG is reviewing scenarios that involve “out-of-conference” competition prior to the first play date that the conference office establishes. If both institutions agree to maintain the date of competition, have been able to meet the minimum number of days of preparations, and UWG Athletics has been authorized to proceed with athletic competition by UWG/USG administration, these contests could be allowed to continue.

UWG is awaiting guidelines related to excluding social distancing requirements from the NCAA and Gulf South Conference.

For Winter and Spring 2020 and 2021 sports (men's and women's basketball, indoor and outdoor track and field, baseball, softball, and tennis), these student- athletes would return to campus as would the rest of the student body. The preparations for their particular sports would not begin until they have been on campus for several weeks and are subject to the same guidelines from governing and guiding agencies.

Athletics Governing Bodies
Scenario #2 – Start Fully OnlineScenario #3 – Transition to Fully Online
Athletic programs will be suspended. As an Auxiliary unit with an Athletic Fee associated with face-to-face delivery, athletics would not have the budget necessary to continue.Athletic programs will be suspended. As an Auxiliary unit with an Athletic Fee associated with face-to-face delivery, athletics would not have the budget necessary to continue.

Financial Impact

UWG Athletics is mostly supported financially by student athletic fees, ticket sales, and educational and general (E&G) funding. The athletic fee is a key component of the Athletics operating budget. On-campus students are imperative to conduct Athletic department operations, as only students taking classes on campus pay the fee. If the athletic fee does not have to be refunded in any of the scenarios, then the financial impact will be minimal compared to normal operations. Athletic services will be impacted in a limited way except for PPE purchases.

The budget implications regarding PPE are yet to be determined. PPE will have to be purchased and available for student athletes, coaches, staff, sports medicine staff, event staff, fans, officials and visiting teams. The financial impact at this time is unknown due to the amount needed and cost per PPE item.

Depending on the various agencies’ guidelines (see Athletic Travel section below), travel may be more costly as additional buses and hotel rooms could be needed to meet social distancing requirements.

Financial Impact
Scenario #2 – Start Fully OnlineScenario #3 – Transition to Fully Online
Athletic programs will be suspended. As an Auxiliary unit with an Athletic Fee associated with face-to-face delivery, athletics would not have the budget necessary to continue.Athletic programs will be suspended. As an Auxiliary unit with an Athletic Fee associated with face-to-face delivery, athletics would not have the budget necessary to continue.

Athlete Safety

UWG will follow guidelines from governing and guiding agencies for the initial return of athletes to campus. Specifically, UWG Athletics will utilize the following plan to return athletes to campus.

  • Athletic Trainers (ATs) must have appropriate PPE.
  • All pre-participation paperwork must be submitted, reviewed, and approved by UWG AT staff prior to arrival on campus.
  • ATs will be notified of individuals who have self-reported with underlying conditions.
  • Pre-participation physicals
    • Maintain social distancing
    • Determine location, and have all necessary equipment and staff to fully complete
  • Pre-activity screening
    • Temperature checks before activity – including student athletes and coaches/staff
      • Follow guidelines from governing and guiding agencies for increased temperature
      • Follow-up symptom questionnaire
  • Plan for safe training
    • Weight room - extra time between groups for sanitization
    • Virtual meetings - recommended
    • Limit number of athletes in shared areas as per guidelines from governing and guiding agencies
      • Weight room
      • Athletic training room
      • Locker room
        • Stagger groups
        • Prohibit lounging
Athlete Safety
Scenario #2 – Start Fully OnlineScenario #3 – Transition to Fully Online
Athletic programs will be suspended. Athletic programs will be suspended. 

Athletic Venues and Spectators

Athletic Strength and Conditioning

As UWG executes its Return to Work Plan for employees, strength and conditioning activities for student athletes will be pursued. These activities generally take place in July and would take place within the parameters that are permissible under the NCAA and GSC “voluntary” workout program rules and regulations. These activities would be managed and supervised by the UWG Strength and Conditioning staff. The UWG Athletic Training staff will be on-site as well to ensure that all safety guidelines are being followed. These activities would follow the Athletic Safety Guidelines (above) as well as the Athletic Practice Guidelines (below) for return to campus and competition. This program would be initiated so that the athletes that are in the local area would be given a safe and managed environment for training provided that preparations for the regular season are on schedule.

Athletic Strength and Conditioning
Scenario #2 – Start Fully OnlineScenario #3 – Transition to Fully Online
Athletic programs will be suspended. Athletic programs will be suspended. 

Athletic Practices and Competition

UWG will follow guidelines from governing and guiding agencies for athletic practices. Specifically, UWG Athletics will utilize the following plan to return athletes to campus.

  • Safe Transition to Athletic Activity (Assumes that all previous steps have been fully completed)
    • Training periodization
    • Acclimation transition
    • Equipment Sanitation
    • Sanitary Hydration considerations
  • Pre-activity screening
    • Temperature checks - student athletes and coaches/staff
    • Symptom Questionnaire
  • Education for student athletes and coaches
    • Hygiene
    • Social distancing
    • Hand washing
    • Face coverings
    • Cleaning
      • Frequently touched surfaces, clothes/laundry, equipment, shared apartments/dorm
  • Quarantine Plan/Isolation Plan for positive test- student athlete or coach/staff
    • UWG Athletics will follow all guidelines from governing and guiding agencies.

 

Athletic Practices and Competition
Scenario #2 – Start Fully OnlineScenario #3 – Transition to Fully Online
Athletic programs will be suspended. Athletic programs will be suspended. 

Athletics Travel

UWG will follow guidelines from governing and guiding agencies in determining how to proceed with team travel arrangements.

Athletics Travel
Scenario #2 – Start Fully OnlineScenario #3 – Transition to Fully Online
Athletic programs will be suspended.Athletic programs will be suspended.

Communication Plan

UWG will implement the following communication plan to support Athletics’ return to campus for the Fall 2020 term. Greater detail about this communication plan can be seen in the supplemental Communication Plan document submitted with this plan.

Communication Plan
Content TopicAudienceTimeline
First Date of Competition (For Each Sport)Students; Faculty; Staff; General PublicJune 1 if possible
Adjusted Scheduled (For Each Sport)Students; Faculty; Staff; General PublicEarly June (if needed)
First Date of Practice (For Each Sport)General Public and MediaThroughout the summer
Ticket Sales (For Each Sport)Faculty; Staff; General PublicJune 1 if possible