Spring sports to return to La Verne

Sebastián Abdon Ibarra
LV Life Editor

University officials announced last week that La Verne athletics will be allowed to conduct limited outdoor training and practices for student athletes starting Monday.

“The program will be just starting with practices for spring sports only,” said Scott Winterburn, the University athletics director. 

This is one of the changes in University of La Verne safety protocols announced last week, in light of a decline in COVD cases and ramped up vaccination across Los Angeles County. 

Winterburn said student athletes will have to go through NCAA resocialization protocols. 

“Everyone will have to come with a negative PCR (COVID) test to start, and follow testing protocols from the NCAA from that point forward,” Winterburn said. “Then they would go through the regular tests they would go through as an athlete, like physical and impact testing.”

From that point there would be daily symptoms and temperature checks when athletes arrive, and they would have to follow all social distancing and sanitation protocols while on campus. 

As for potential games being scheduled and played this spring, Winterburn said he hopes athletes will get to play before the season ends. He is also hopeful that fall and winter sports will return later this year, though he said in these uncertain times, plans may change. 

Winterburn said that there is a phased approach to student athletes returning to campus this spring. 

“Phase one started this past week with athletes in the dorm, 10-20 living on campus and they did two workouts this last week,” he said.  “We trained all the staff and cleared those athletes. Phase two is bringing spring sport athletes back to campus. We’ll monitor phase two and depending on how it goes, we’ll have a phase three which is figuring out what we can do with fall and winter athletes and who will practice,” Winterburn said. 

He said that everyone will follow health department and NCAA recommendations, which change for athletes when and if they are vaccinated. 

Winterburn said that he expects some athletes to opt out of participation this spring.

“Some kids are maybe out of state, maybe far away, might not be able to make it, or maybe they do not want to,” Winterburn said. “Most of the kids are really looking forward to doing something.” 

Winterburn said that the weight room will remain closed until it is safe to go inside. 

For those athletes who do return, this semester would be considered a “free” semester in terms of athletes’ eligibility to play. 

Sebastián Abdon Ibarra can be reached at sebastian.ibarra@laverne.edu.

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