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Athletics will operate under the JacksRBack Guiding Principles

NOTE: Athletics items will be influenced by guidelines of numerous national committees such as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), The Summit League, The Missouri Valley Conference, The Big 12, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC), National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and the National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA). We will also utilize our strong relationship with Sanford Health and the Brookings Health System to help us assess safety guidelines and protocols

NOTE: Athletic facilities are not open to the public until further notice

General operating principles:

  • Employees
    • Identify essential/non-essential employees; determine staff members who can effectively work from a remote location.
    • Certain staff will come back to campus beginning June 1. Others will be staggered back as conditions allow. Those that need to be on campus in order to fulfill their job requirements will be prioritized for safe return in Phase 1. Other staff members will begin limited and staggered safe return to on-campus work in Phase 2. Depending on current scenarios and conditions, Phase 3 will focus on safe return-to-campus full time for all athletic department employees.
      Phase 1 – early June (limited employees)
      Phase 2 – minimum of two weeks after the beginning of Phase 1 (additional employees)
      Phase 3 – minimum of two weeks after the beginning of Phase 2 (all employees)
    • Supervisor/employee training and/or education regarding university requirements for return-to-work;
    • Follow all guidelines from the CDC and University pertaining to good hygiene (maintain 6’ distance, wash hands, sanitize hands, etc…).
    • Individuals are required to follow the current university and SDBOR face covering protocols
    • Employees will acknowledge that they have read and will adhere to guidelines set forth by the JacksRBack committee and the Athletic department.
    • Employees will self-assess for COVID-19 symptoms and follow guidelines.
    • Phases of safe return (dependent on guidelines and safe-return policies as set by the University)
  • Facilities
    • Determine best locations for sanitizer stations.
    • Gather items that were shared in certain locations (staplers/candy dishes/etc.). Ensure there are no shared pieces of equipment or supplies other than copiers/printers/fax machines.
    • In copy machine spaces, shared printer spaces and other multi-use spaces. Limit the number of people in the space to one person at a time. Disinfect the machine when finished. Do not print to the main printer behind Tammy’s desk, instead print to the main printer in the business office area. (There’s not enough room to maintain 6’ of distance between Tammy and the printer)
    • Determine if physical barriers are needed in certain locations
    • Ensure appropriate cleaning and supplies (hand sanitizer/disinfectant/gloves/masks/etc) for safe return of employees and student-athletes in Phase 1, 2 and 3.
    • Security (entry and exit points)
    • Scheduled deep cleaning in certain areas
    • Determine access points, foot-traffic directions and proper sanitation
    • Individuals are required to follow the current university and SDBOR face covering protocols
    • Shared office spaces will not have more than one person at a time.
    • One person per office. If you need to meet with someone, go to one of the conference rooms or classrooms and follow distancing guidelines.
    • Post signs for COVID-19 protocols/practicing good hygiene/safety measures
    • Develop a plan to open facilities in a strategic and staggered fashion (office spaces, strength and conditioning, athletic training, practice spaces, team rooms, locker rooms, competition venues and spectator/general public spaces). Start with limited numbers and appropriate safety guidelines for the SJAC weight room, SJAC sports medicine area and Potentially Frost Practice gyms for limited use.
    • Designated entry and exit/areas marked off/sanitizer/disinfectant/self-provided water bottle and towel/no locker room use/no laundering – SA’s do it on their own/etc
    • Work with custodial/F&S regarding cleaning of high-priority areas as we open more and more spaces.
    • Work with the Miller Wellness Center, Aramark, ROTC and others regarding long-standing MOU’s and potential adjustments due to COVID-19 and potential changes to regular practices and events.
    • Need to review differences between indoor and outdoor spaces. Capacity limitations may differ.
  • Student-Athletes
    • Student requirements
    • Athletic requirements
      Screening prior to entering facilities
      Acknowledgement that they have read and will follow guidelines

Note – Per bylaw 17.02.19 Voluntary Athletically Related Activities (VARA):

  • The VARA MUST BE INITIATED AND REQUESTED SOLELY BY THE STUDENT-ATHLETE. Neither the institution nor any athletics department staff member may require the student-athlete to participate in the activity at any time.
  • A coach is prohibited from observing or conducting a student-athlete’s participation in VARA.
  • A Director of Operations can open and close the facility but is not allowed by observe a student-athlete’s participation in VARA – they must exit the area.
  • Institutional staff members may be present for reasons incidental to job responsibilities either in supervising the use of the facility (facilities staff, manager) or to ensure the health and safety of the student-athletes (trainer, medical staff).
  • The student-athlete must not be required to report back to coach or other athletics department staff member any information related to the activity.
  • It is permissible for a staff member to provide information to student-athletes when facilities are available and assign specific times for student-athletes to use the facilities.
  • The student-athlete’s attendance and participation (or lack of) may not be recorded for the purpose of reporting back to coaching staff members and they may not be subjected to penalty if he/she elects not to participate in the activity.
    • Phase 1
      Only SJAC sports medicine/strength and conditioning (no locker rooms/laundry/etc…)
      Only those student-athletes that have been living in Brookings
      Try this for a minimum of two weeks to learn how things are going and how to improve
      Frost practice courts available for limited use
    • Phase 2
      Potentially utilize both sports medicine spaces and both weight rooms. Potentially utilize some additional practice facilities on a limited and restricted basis
      Include student-athletes that were not living in Brookings at the start of Phase 1
      Try this for a minimum of two weeks
    • Phase 3
      Utilize all areas of athletic practices and competitions
      Include all student-athletes
  • Spectators/special events
    • Currently working with the NCAA/sport leagues/national event and facility consultants regarding safe practices for gathering in large-venues.
    • Work with appropriate campus entities (UPD, parking, Aramark etc) regarding best practices for on-campus events

Proposed timeline:


  • June – Administrative leave ends. Begin bringing back certain employees (i.e. grounds, business office, upper management, head coaches, ticket office, etc) on a limited and staggered basis. Determine employees that may be able to continue effective work from a remote location.
  • July/August - Follow guidelines and safety measures to modify plans as we move through the summer.


  • June/July – Athletics administration works with national, regional and local organizations to develop a proper medical and operational plan to safely bring student-athletes into facilities. Initial plans to include limited and staggered use of weight rooms, athletic training facilities, outdoor conditioning spaces and indoor conditioning spaces.
  • June/July/August - As conditions allow, follow guidelines and safety measures to modify plans to include individual workouts, team training sessions, locker room/team room/lounge utilization and use of other facilities normally associated with “normal” activities for those sports that compete during the fall.