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Colleges prepare for return of student athletes

NCAA provides guidance as athletic departments prepare plans

BUFFALO, N.Y. — With the reopening phases continuing for Western New York, it is not only businesses that are preparing to get back to normal, colleges are trying to formulate plans for when students return. The first students typically on campus are fall athletes.

The NCAA has already provided some guidance for athletic directors. Some of the changes include:

The minimum number of contests required in division III have been reduced by 33%.

The recruiting period for division I sports is extended through July 31.

The NCAA Sport Science Institute has released action plan to help schools reduce risks of COVID-19 spread. 

Canisius College Athletic Director Bill Mahar said that while there are many details they don't know, they know enough that they can start making preliminary plans. 

"When we do get back, how things are handled in the weight room, how things are handled in the training room, how things are handled in the locker rooms, those things will all be very different," Mahar said. "We certainly know that so we are starting to put plans in place to deal with social distancing, masks, things of that nature. Travel will be different. We have talked to our bus companies about how that is going to take place. So regardless of when we come back, we know those things will be different so those plans have begun."

Mahar adds that while they are making plans, they all hinge on when schools determine students can return..

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