JMU planning for return of football players next week

Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 9:18 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - James Madison University is planning for the return of football players to campus next week.

JMU football players are getting ready to come back to Harrisonburg for voluntary offseason workouts. They are scheduled to return next Monday, July 6.

“We feel good about protocol,” said JMU Assistant A.D. for Communications Kevin Warner. “The process to get student-athletes here and get tested and be cleared.”

Players are returning to campus in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. They will all be tested for the virus with results expected back by the end of the next week before workouts will officially begin. Prior to their return, they have been asked to self-quarantine at home for ten days.

“That’s been a lot of it,” said Warner. “Walking the guys through that process, walking their families through that process to explain what’s the self-quarantine at home, what’s the quarantine when we get here, what’s testing going to look like and then the actual workout routines once they are here.”

If an athlete tests positive for COVID-19 after they arrive at JMU, they will be put into quarantine on campus.

“There will be separate residence halls to isolate those individuals, keep them isolated but check on them, bring them food, obviously following protocol and safety for any interaction that happens there,” said Warner. “Once they are cleared and once they are through that process and they are well, then we can re-assimilate them back with the rest of the team into workouts.”

The voluntary offseason workouts at JMU will happen in small groups of no more than ten athletes and players will cycle through different exercise stations. The goal is to get members of the team physically ready for what many hope is a regularly scheduled 2020 season.

“That’s been a big message to the student-athletes, to the families, is this has to be buy-in from everyone,” said Warner. “We put all this protocol in place. That protocol doesn’t help if there isn’t following it on the other end when we are not with them.”

JMU is currently scheduled to open the 2020 season Saturday, September at home against Delaware.

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