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Arizona Wildcats will allow football players to work out starting June 15

Arizona quarterback Grant Gunnell and his football teammates can return to workouts on June 15 under coronavirus protection protocols. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

The Arizona Wildcats will begin allowing athletes on campus for voluntary workouts on June 15, the first day the Pac-12 has allowed for a return amid coronavirus protection protocols.

A phased reopening will begin with a group of football players, the school said in a press release. Priority for students returning will be given to fall sports. All athletes and staff members will follow the university’s plan for testing, tracing and treatment.

“The phased re-entry of student-athletes is the next step in Arizona Athletics’ commitment to a safe and healthy return to campus,” said Arizona vice president and director of athletics Dave Heeke. “This comprehensive plan to bring student-athletes back to campus is a collaboration between our athletics department and campus partners to develop guidelines, protocols and procedures.

“I want to thank President Robbins and University leadership for their guidance and vision for bringing Wildcats back to campus. There are many factors that remain beyond our control, and our athletics department will still face some uncertainty before completely reopening. However, our intent remains a return to competition.”

The Pac-12 on Tuesday announced it would allow college athletes to return to campus for voluntary workouts on June 15. The decision allows individual campuses to make the choice of when and how to reopen their campuses based on local restrictions.

The decision was guided by the Pac-12 COVID-19 medical advisory committee, which released additional considerations for schools with athletes returning to campus and athletic facilities.

The recommendations include being symptom free, educating athletes and staff, setting up a contact tracing system and requiring face coverings at all times.

The committee also recommended athletes work out in small groups and maintain physical distancing at all times.

Last week, the NCAA permitted conferences and schools to reopen campuses for voluntary in-person workouts for football and basketball programs starting June 1.