Pitt football announces plan for student-athletes return beginning June 8


Sarah Cutshall | Senior Staff Photographer

Kenny Pickett threw for 361 yards and three touchdowns in Pitt’s bowl victory over Eastern Michigan.

By Alex Lehmbeck, Senior Staff Writer

Pitt Athletic Director Heather Lyke announced Friday that Pitt football student-athletes will begin to return to campus on June 8 for voluntary offseason workouts. The players’ return to campus will mark the start of the first phase of reopening for Pitt athletics in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our athletic department has worked diligently with the University leadership and medical experts using one guiding principle: the health and well-being of our student-athletes and staff,” Lyke said.

The announcement comes just hours after the NCAA released a detailed plan to try to help schools bring athletes back to campus, and days after the body’s Division I Council voted to resume voluntary workouts on June 1. Pitt joins schools like Clemson, North Carolina and Arizona as some of the first to announce the return of student-athletes to campus.

According to Pitt’s plan, athletes will first complete a quarantine period after returning to campus. After they are medically cleared, they will participate in small monitored workout sessions that do not exceed more than 10 athletes at a time.

After consulting medical guidance from health agencies and University health experts, Pitt has implemented a variety of strict protocols to ensure player safety during this return phase, including routine testing, a daily screening questionnaire, temperature checks and enhanced cleaning measures for athletic facilities.

Pitt’s other 18 varsity programs will also follow a staggered transition, with specific timeline announcements coming soon.

Although the return of players to campus is significant, it remains unclear how the upcoming fall season will be conducted or if fans can enjoy games inside stadiums.