University of Iowa president Bruce Harreld said he anticipates that the school's football team will resume activities after June 1, he told the state board of regents Thursday.
Harreld referred to the Big Ten Conference's suspension of team activities in all sports during a virtual meeting with the regents. The Big Ten in late March announced a suspension of all team activities through May 4, at which point the ban will be reevaluated. Harreld on Thursday mentioned a "moratorium" that lasted through June 1.
"We're ever so hopeful that this virus will be behind us at that point, and we'll be able to get back into what we normally do," he told the board. "We've missed spring practice."
Harreld said Iowa's football team likely would need 6-8 weeks of preparation before beginning the 2020 season, which could be delayed because of the coronavirus outbreak. He declined to opine whether Iowa could play games without fans, but said "a lot of testing of the individual players" would be needed.
"But right now, June 1 is the date we're going to get back to practice and here we go," Harreld ended his answer to regent David Barker.
On Thursday evening, Harreld issued a statement to clarify his comments to the board
"As I said, in conjunction with our fellow members of the Big Ten, we are exploring all options," Harreld;s statement said. "But our first priority is the health and safety of our student athletes and fans."
Iowa is among the states without a stay-at-home order. The state's three public universities -- Iowa, Iowa State and Northern Iowa -- expect to resume classes on campus for the fall semester.
Iowa finished 10-3 last season and is scheduled to open against Northern Iowa on Sept. 5.