UAB Athletics working on plan for the return of student-athletes

When will student athletes return to UAB?

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - UAB is set to kickoff the season in 99 days, but the big question is when will student-athletes be allowed back on campus?

Conference USA is leaving it up to each university to make it’s own decision on when to allow student-athletes back on campus on a voluntary basis, and UAB says they are currently in the process of working on a plan.

“We have some online screening first, asking about symptoms and exposure, daily temperature checks, and wearing masks at all times,” said UAB Athletics Director Mark Ingram.

These are just some of the new guidelines UAB Athletics will follow when it allows athletes and coaches back on campus in the coming weeks.

“We’ve talked about several scenarios, we’re not sure yet which one is the best one,” Ingram added.

Allowing athletes back on campus in June gives Ingram confidence the Blazers will start the season on time as they gear up to play their final season at Legion Field.

“In our conference and the southeastern part of the United States, for the most part, I think people are ready to play on time, but that doesn’t mean your opponent will be ready to play on time, and that’s the biggest challenge," he said.

Due to COVID-19, opponents could change to opponents closer to home. There’ve been talks about C-USA and the Sunbelt realigning to help cut down on travel and to save money.

“We’re playing South Alabama, Troy and Georgia State already in a number of our sports. I would think based off our geography, it might be easier for UAB to schedule those games then say for UTEP. So to some degree, we’re already doing it, but we don’t have an official alliance with them,” said Ingram.

As far as having fans at games, Ingram says they have a plan in place for that too.

“We’ve run a lot of different models where we can space people out to different degrees and there’s plenty of space for all of our fans to be there and to keep social distancing,” said Ingram.

UAB is scheduled to kickoff the season September 3rd at Legion Field.

Copyright 2020 WBRC. All rights reserved.