Marquette sets safety protocol for return to action

Photo by Ryan Messier/ Paint Touches

It’s been over a month and a half since Marquette delayed voluntary workouts on campus, allowing student-athletes to go home and train individually.

But with the start of the Fall semester on Wednesday, and all students back in Milwaukee, Marquette’s athletes are back on campus and are ready to begin training, even if exact details of what their seasons will look like still in the air.

To ensure safety and comply with league and NCAA protocol, Marquette has implemented mandatory COVID-19 testing of all student-athletes upon return to campus, as well as a 7-day monitoring period, per Deputy AD Mike Broeker.

“It’s the normal PCR testing,” Broeker noted. “We’re going to strictly follow NCAA guidance as it relates to non-competition testing. It’s based on the sport and how the NCAA defines the sport (low, intermediate, high risk) based on the amount of contact. We’ll baseline test every student-athlete this week.”

On top of the standard test, the staff is also asking all athletes to self monitor for 7 days and keep an eye on symptoms, while taking the necessary precautions of wearing a mask and ensuring appropriate hygiene.

Once those results come back negative, the idea is to begin voluntary workouts on Monday, with training regimens customized on each individual’s need, with the hope of beginning coach-led organized activities by mid-September.

“It will be a couple of weeks of acclimatization based on the program and the kid,” Broeker said. “And really, an individualized focus on ‘where are you since we last saw you.’ Some of you may be right where we left you, some of you may not be, so we don’t want to rush into anything.”

After the initial testing period, Marquette will continue surveillance testing on 50% of the student-athlete population for high-risk sports every 2 weeks.

“It’s all rooted in what the NCAA and our league have done. What’s best practice given medical guidance,” Broeker added. “Our own medical folks ultimately have to be comfortable with it, and they are. That could continue to change as guidance is in flux one way or the other.”

The men’s basketball team will have plenty to work on right away, with 4 new freshmen and 2 transfers to incorporate into a roster that lost 3/5th of its starting lineup. Despite not being able to all be in one place at one time this summer, unlike most offseasons, we did see plenty of players meet individually across the country.

Despite the distance involved, the staff did not play a part in connecting players with one another, as the meet-ups were organized organically among the players themselves.

“That’s just them connecting with one another. We love when are guys do stuff together, ” Broeker confirmed. “For us it’s about, whatever you’re doing, make sure you’re making smart decisions based on the things that we’ve talked about. Personal hygiene, shrinking your circle. Training is a high risk activity, I get it. But if you’re being smart in all these places, it doesn’t minimize the risk of that one training activity, but you do minimize your risk to yourself and others.”

As for actual games scheduled, for now, it will be a wait and see on when the season will actually begin, with the NCAA set to make its official ruling in mid-September.

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  1. BREAKING: Marquette requires athletes to receive COVID-19 tests this week – Marquette Wire - August 26, 2020

    […] athletes who returned to campus and a seven-day monitoring period — Deputy Athletic Director Mike Broeker told Paint Touches, a Marquette basketball analysis and opinion […]

  2. BREAKING: Marquette requires athletes to receive COVID-19 tests this week - Siomni™ - August 26, 2020

    […] monitoring period for all student athletes who returned to campus Deputy Athletic Director Mike Broeker told Paint Touches, a Marquette basketball analysis and opinion […]

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