Whitman says athletes’ health remains top priority, no pressure to return to campus


CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illini athletes could return to campus as early as June 3rd, per an NCAA and Illinois Athletics announcement that will allow them to come back for summer workouts.

Illinois Athletic director Josh Whitman says the workouts are voluntary, and it’s up to the discretion of athletes to decide if they want to come back. The announcement also stated that Illinois will follow strict measures to ensure the safety of athletes.

“We need to understand that this is a different time and we need to continue to allow people to make choices that are in their own best interest, and the best interest of their health and the health of the people around them,” says Whitman.

Whitman emphasized that student-athletes will not be penalized for not attending workings, and has been in communication with coaches to avoid social and competitive pressure for athletes who do not want to return.

“The coaches–I can’t say enough good things about them. They have been quick to set aside personal agendas, and set aside their competitive juices to to really prioritize our communities health and our student athletes’ health,” says Whitman.

More details on the plan to return athletes to campus can be found here.

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