While Ohio State is allowing its athletes to return for voluntary workouts beginning June 8 — the SEC announced the same plan for its schools — Michigan president Dr. Mark Schlissel told the Wall Street Journal that the Wolverines will sit out the college football season if the Ann Arbor campus remains closed to students. The state of Michigan’s stay-at-home order has been extended through June 12 and the flagship school has not announced a potential reopening date.
“If there is no on-campus instruction then there won’t be intercollegiate athletics, at least for Michigan,” Schlissel, a trained immunologist, told the Wall Street Journal.
While Schlissel has “some degree of doubt as to whether there will be college athletics (anywhere), at least in the fall,” several schools nationwide have already announced plans to allow students to return in the fall, including football powerhouses like Clemson and Notre Dame, as well as fellow Big Ten schools, like Illinois. Schlissel said Michigan will make a decision regarding the fall semester in the “coming weeks.”
“Any decision we make for this coming fall is likely going to be the case for the whole academic year, Schlissel said. “What’s going to be different in January?”
Even if students are allowed back on the Ann Arbor campus, don’t expect to see many — or any — of them at the Big House.
“I can’t imagine a way to do that safely,” Schlissel said.