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MM 5.21: NCAA approves June 1 return for voluntary football and basketball activities

This is the Maryland Minute, a short story followed by a roundup of Terps-related news.

Coronavirus Cases Causes Johns Hopkins To Ban Fans At NCAA Division III Basketball Tournament Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The NCAA took a big step toward bringing college athletics back this fall Wednesday, announcing that it will officially allow athletes to participate in voluntary activities on campus beginning on June 1.

The athletes allowed to participate in such activities are limited to football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball players, with the designated period for team activities to run from June 1 to June 30. But a successful resumption of organized activities for these sports should open the door for others soon enough, with the Division I Council expected to vote on returns for more sports in the coming weeks.

Many questions still loom following this decision, with the primary concern being how and when returning athletes will be tested for COVID-19. The NCAA is expected to place no mandate on testing, allowing for schools and states handle that aspect of the process.

Returns to campus won’t uniformly occur on June 1 either necessarily, as that process will be at the discretion of state and local governments, as well as university officials. Prince George’s County has the most confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state, which could play a factor in the university’s decision.

It’s been almost 70 days now since all sports in the United States were put on hold, with college sporting spectacles like the NCAA Tournament being cancelled this season due to the ongoing pandemic. But Wednesday’s decision could be a turning point for fall sports being played on schedule in 2020, though nothing is guaranteed at this point.

In other news

Lila reunited another classic Maryland team on the latest edition of Back with the Squad, this time bringing together the 2003-04 Maryland men’s basketball team. Check out this week’s episode for some all-time Gary Williams moments and an inside look at the team’s ACC Championship run.

Current Maryland wide receiver Dontay Demus Jr. and Terp legend Vernon Davis broke down what makes Washington D.C. a football hotbed and what their city means to them on this week’s episode of #Unlocked.

Maryland football also dropped some sweet VD wallpapers:

Maryland women’s basketball head coach announced that Lindsey Spann will serve as an interim assistant coach for next season.

Frese also had a graduation week message for Miss Consistency, Stephanie Jones.

Two years ago today, Maryland men’s lacrosse punched its ticket to its fifth consecutive Final Four with a 13-8 win over Cornell.

Maryland women’s lacrosse released an episode of “Thumbs Up.”

Maryland baseball’s Chris Alleyne and Benjamin Cowles were on the Big Ten leaderboards before the season was cut short.