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Montana State to permit student-athletes to return to campus June 1

Montana State Bobcats football
Posted at 9:26 AM, May 23, 2020

(Editor's note: Montana State University media release)

BOZEMAN – Montana State student-athletes will have access to some athletic facilities beginning on June 1 for voluntary athletics-related activities, Montana State University Director of Athletics Leon Costello announced on Friday.

Members of Bobcat Athletic teams may begin using Bobcat Athletics facilities in accordance with a ruling made Wednesday and updated on Friday by the NCAA Division I Council relating to a moratorium enacted in March amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. A schedule of use is currently being developed by Bobcat athletics administration to support social distancing and other public health-related recommendations. Montana State University remains committed to the safety of student-athletes, staff, coaches, and the MSU and Bozeman communities, Costello said.

“The health and safety of our student-athletes and those they work with is our highest priority,” Costello said, “and that extends throughout the campus community and city of Bozeman. We’ve consulted with Bozeman Health, state and local officials, and MSU leadership in formulating a protocol that we believe helps us limit risks and protect everyone involved. We’ll continue to use all the resources available and assess current protocols and procedures to help us create the safest environment possible.”

Costello described the reintroduction of student-athletes into on-campus facilities as “a measured, disciplined approach,” and says it is both data-driven and flexible. The plan uses guidance from Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the U.S. Department of Education, the state of Montana, and Montana State University. Throughout the summer other student-athletes may return for voluntary activities in phases developed by MSU Athletics. Those student-athletes returning from out of state before June 1 will self-quarantine for 14 days, while after that date the self-quarantine length is 10 days.

Among the safety measures enacted are a formal check-in process that includes temperature checks for student-athletes, limited access to areas of facilities where student-athletes work out, self-quarantines in phases, thorough cleaning of facilities and equipment in use, multiple sets of workout apparel with mandatory cleaning procedures, and the use of face coverings and social distancing protocols where applicable under the guidance of the MSU Sports Medicine staff. As always, Costello said, Bobcat student-athletes have access to Dr. Karl Reisig and the Bozeman Health staff, and Head Athletic Trainer Rob Higgs and his staff.

“We’ll continue to work in conjunction with the Bozeman Health, Bobcat Sports Medicine and MSU Sports Facilities staffs to make sure student-athletes have access to facilities and equipment in the safest way possible,” Costello said. “All of these activities come under strict supervision and with limitations that fall within health guidelines in the framework the NCAA allows.”