Colorado football cleared for practice

The Colorado football team has been cleared for practice after the Boulder County Public Health (BCPH) department approved a health plan submitted by the CU athletic department on Oct. 8. Limited practices for men’s and women’s basketball have also been approved until they can officially start their preseason practices Oct. 14.

The CU athletic department was required to submit a detailed plan outlining how it would try to control the spread of COVID-19 within its department and student-athletes. The Buffs have been unable to practice since Sept. 24 due to the BCPH order, which halted gatherings of more than two 18-to-22 year olds in Boulder.

“I couldn’t be more excited for our student-athletes and coaches who have remained positive and persevered through a difficult seven months not knowing when or if they’d get to this point this season,” said CU athletic director Rick George in a statement released Thursday. “We’re grateful for the collaboration with Boulder County Public Health that’s made this return to practice possible. We will continue to employ robust protocols and procedures within our program to ensure the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, staff, and community.”

The Buffs will be gearing up for a shortened season due to COVID-19. The Pac-12 announced plans for a six-game conference-only regular season schedule with a seventh conference championship game back on Sept. 24. The first matchup against the UCLA Bruins on Nov. 7 at Folsom Field will be Buffs’ new head coach Karl Dorrell’s debut with CU and coincidentally is against his former team. Dorrell coached the Bruins from 2003-2007 and had a 35-27 record.

Dorrell was hired on Feb. 23 to replace Mel Tucker, who very unceremoniously departed for Michigan State after just one season. The pandemic closed on-campus learning through the summer and canceled all scheduled spring practices. Thus far for nearly eight months after Dorrell was hired CU has yet to host a fully padded practice.

The Buffs will resume practicing Oct. 9. Dorrell has four weeks and 24 practices to prepare for the Buffs’ season opener.

To try and minimize the chances of COVID-19 spreading throughout the team, the Buffs players, along with 10 staff members, will spend the next two weeks at the Millennium Harvest House hotel. The hotel is only a short walk from the facilities and there will be two people assigned to a room at the hotel and the players will be encouraged to walk back and forth from the hotel to the facility.

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