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How does the NCAA's decision to ease ban of on-campus activities affect Duke Athletics?

College sports are starting to return, but Duke athletes are going to have to wait a little longer.
College sports are starting to return, but Duke athletes are going to have to wait a little longer.

College sports is finally starting to make its return, but don't expect Duke athletes to get on the field just yet.

Wednesday afternoon, Yahoo!'s Pete Thamel reported that the NCAA Division I Council voted to approve voluntary athletic activities for football, men's basketball and women's basketball starting June 1 and through June 30. Thamel added that a decision on other NCAA sports will come in the future as well.

But early Thursday afternoon, Duke senior associate director of athletics Art Chase told The Chronicle that the NCAA's decision does not affect Duke Athletics at this time, as current North Carolina and Duke University guidelines do not allow the activities related to the NCAA Division I Council's vote.

While the vote is lifting the moratorium that the NCAA had previously imposed on all campus activities, the state, local and institutional guidelines that have been put in place due to the pandemic still take precedence.

Conference rulings are also a topic some programs will have to take into account, though ESPN's Andrea Adelson has reported that "the ACC will not be taking a conference-wide vote on a uniform return to voluntary workouts."

Therefore, announcements signifying a return to athletic activities within the ACC will likely come on a program-by-program basis in accordance with a team's state, local and university guidelines, similar to the announcement from Louisville Athletics that Adelson referenced.

However, that announcement followed details of reopening phases issued by the state of Kentucky and University of Louisville that differ from guidelines Duke Athletics must adhere to.

Of course, things may change over the next few weeks. An announcement from President Vincent Price late Thursday afternoon described "a careful process of reopening [Duke's] facilities" and that "hundreds of additional Duke researchers and scientists are returning to campus to continue their vital research." 

However, nothing Price said signaled an immediate reopening of athletic facilities, and Chase confirmed that the earlier information he told The Chronicle is not affected by this most recent announcement.

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