Iron Bowl 2019

Auburn players huddle for a team prayer before the Iron Bowl on Nov. 30, 2019 in Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Auburn team physician Mike Goodlett has been named to a task force assembled by the SEC and charged with guiding the conference toward a return to athletics activities, per a Thursday release from the SEC.

The group brings together medical professionals from all 14 member schools. It’s meant to prepare members to make upcoming decisions about the potential for in-person meetings and activities amid the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement states that the task force began meeting by video conference in April and has been offering updates from these meetings to school presidents, chancellors and athletics directors.

Goodlett has been team physician at Auburn since 1993, overseeing all aspects of sports medicine and care for all student-athletes in the athletics department.

“The expertise of these medical professionals is playing an important role in our continuing focus on the health and well-being of SEC student-athletes,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in the release.

Auburn, like most colleges across the country, has not announced any change to its plans to host on-campus activities this fall.

Earlier this week, California State University systems became the first high-profile entity in higher education to say it would move to online learning this fall over concerns about spreading COVID-19, putting this football season in jeopardy for San Diego State, Fresno State, San Jose State and others.

Auburn moved to online learning in the spring when the virus swept across the United States in March, around the same time the NCAA’s basketball tournament was canceled and baseball and softball seasons were canceled.

The SEC has suspended all in-person activities, including practices and team workouts, through at least May 31. Thursday’s release indicated that timeline was subject to adjustment based on public health information. The SEC has also ceased operation of camps and coaches clinics through at least July 31.

The SEC dubs the task force Goodlett is on the SEC’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force, and its duties were listed by the conference as follows:

» identifying recommended protocols and best practices for guiding the safe return to in-person on-campus meetings, individual workouts, out-of-season activities and skill instruction, and practice activities for student-athletes and coaches;

» identifying the desired amount of practice and training time required to safely acclimate student-athletes into competition;

» identifying opportunities for a return to competition, including considerations for student-athletes, administrators, support staff, officials and fans.

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