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OU athletics: Big 12 approves plan for student athletes to return to campus

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Pledger

Then-sophomore running back T.J. Pledger smiles before the spring game April 12, 2019.

The Big 12 Board of Directors approved a plan Friday for student-athletes to return to campus and participate in voluntary athletic activities, permitting student athletes to use campus facilities.

The Phase-In Plan states that football student-athletes will be allowed to return to their athletic facilities beginning on June 15. Volleyball, soccer and cross country student-athletes are permitted to return on July 1. 

Remaining student-athletes in the Big 12 will be able to return on July 15.

On May 14, Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley said he was in favor of waiting as long as needed to bring athletes back to campus.

“In my opinion, we need to bring them back as late as we possibly can before we play a season," Riley said. "Every day early that we bring them in is a day we could’ve gotten better. It’s a day we could’ve learned more about the virus. It’s a day PPE maybe gets better. It’s a day closer to a vaccine. It’s a day that our testing equipment and testing capabilities, and it’s just not worth it. So, we’ve got to be patient. We got one shot at this, and we’ve got to do it right.”

Hours prior to the Big 12's decision, Oklahoma Athletic Director Joe Castiglione said the NCAA is "not even close" to making a decision on the upcoming football season."

The Sooners are still scheduled to play Missouri State Sept. 5 in Norman.

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