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(Austonia staff)

The NCAA warned Thursday that if current trends with the coronavirus continue, fall sports might not happen.


"When we made the extremely difficult decision to cancel last spring's championships it was because there was simply no way to conduct them safely," NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a press release. "This document lays out the advice of health care professionals as to how to resume college sports if we can achieve an environment where COVID-19 rates are manageable. Today, sadly, the data point in the wrong direction. If there is to be college sports in the fall, we need to get a much better handle on the pandemic."

The NCAA's warning came as part of its third set of return-to-sports guidelines, which include testing within 72 hours of play for high-contact sports. The guidelines also mentioned daily self-health checks, social distancing both on and off the field and a reminder that member schools must adhere to health recommendations set by their communities.

"Any recommendation on a pathway toward a safe return to sports will depend on the national trajectory of COVID-19 spread," said Brian Hainline, NCAA chief medical officer.

Longhorns

UT athletic director Chris Del Conte has expressed hope in recent days that football will happen this fall as planned.

"I want to make one thing abundantly clear—financial ramifications and challenges will not play any part in our decision to play football or any of our sports," Del Conte wrote in the Forty Acres Insider Newsletter Tuesday. "If we can safely play under directives or guidelines that are established, we will. We continue to prepare for our seasons, and our teams that have been onboarded are training hard."

Austonia contacted UT Athletics for comment on the latest news from the NCAA, and has yet to receive a response.

Some UT players returned to campus last month for summer training. After returning, however, a growing number of them were diagnosed with COVID-19, causing some to have to quarantine just days after training began. So far, at least 13 players have tested positive for the virus, some of whom have been able to return to training.

Earlier today, Southwestern University near Houston canceled all fall sports except for football. The Ivy League canceled all fall sports last week.

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