Good news: UCF Knights Athletic Director Danny White says he remains optimistic about the possibility of playing sports this fall, according to his letter on Thursday to Knight Nation.
UCF has been working closely with the American Athletic Conference, in addition to Florida officials and Orlando Health, for the latest public health guidance to prepare for the return of sports.
As of right now, UCF fall sports teams — football, soccer and volleyball, among others — are expected to begin official practices in August, per the NCAA, White said. There is no guarantee this will happen, however.
More clarity on these circumstances will come in the next few weeks, he added.
Football players returned to campus for voluntary workouts on June 1. The COVID-19 protocols put in place for the team will be used as a framework for other sports, White said.
UCF has teamed up with Orlando Health for COVID-19 testing for student athletes, in addition to further health and safety guidance.
As for how many fans will be allowed in Spectrum Stadium come fall, if any, White is waiting on the answer.
“Once we receive a decision on the percent of capacity allowed inside the Bounce House, our team will finalize the various contingency plans we have in place and publish them so fans can make arrangements to enjoy game day in Orlando,” White said in the letter.
Should fans be allowed in stadiums, state and local public health precautions are to remain in place, including face masks and social distancing, White said.
White is also going to release information regarding season ticket holders, parking, merchandise sales and pregame fan activities as specifics become available.
“We understand many of you already have paid for your 2020 football season tickets,” White said. “In the event capacity restrictions don’t allow all fans to attend, we will offer and communicate several options for season-ticket members.”
Despite the uncertainty revolving the fall 2020 season, White said the goal remains the same — “to provide safe, memorable experiences at UCF Athletics events for all fans.”
UCF already announced its plans to offer classes in the fall using a combination of in-person and online classes.
This letter from White comes after the cancellations and adjustments of other conference schedules, including the Big Ten, Ivy League, ACC and MEAC, which include three of UCF’s scheduled opponents for the 2020 football season.
Daniella Medina is a contributing writer for the Black & Gold Banneret. Follow her on Twitter @danimedinanews.