Mendenhall: State and university, not NCAA, will determine when workouts can resume
Virginia head football coach Bronco Mendenhall made it clear Thursday that the NCAA's ruling on a return to practice will not override state and university guidelines.
"The NCAA has voluntary workouts allowed June 1. The University of Virginia and the state of Virginia will not allow those workouts to begin," Mendenhall said via video conference. "And so, until our state, the CDC, our medical staff and our institution say that it's safe and we have the structure and we have the resources and we have the testing and we have all the protocols in place--until then, our players will not be returning to grounds."
Currently, his staff is able to hold virtual meetings with players for two hours a day and eight hours each week. But the logistics of an in-person return remain cloudy.
"I'm on meetings almost every day and I haven't found any consistency yet from one day to the next," Mendenhall said. "It changes so fast and new dynamics and new problems come up. There's a lot of moving parts in terms of the housing of the players, the meals for the players, the transportation--this would be for all students as well, not just the players."
As for the status of the season itself, Mendenhall said he thinks football will be played this fall, but that it's too early to tell if it will start on time.
"Football supports and enhances humanity," he said. "It's not in place of or more important than it, and that's the way I'm going to support and run our team. When it's safe and when it's appropriate and when all can benefit, I'm for playing the game."