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Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships: Physician Status

Updated March 17, 2021

The NCAA has released the following guidance documents related to the resocialization of college sports in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • “Core Principles of Resocialization of Collegiate Sport” (5/1/20)
  • “Resocialization of Collegiate Sport: Developing Standards for Practice and Competition” (7/14/20) 
  • “Resocialization of Collegiate Sport: Action Plan Considerations” (5/28/20) 

Each of the above publications was intended to supplement and update the prior publications to reflect most recent emerging data and information available at the time of release. The NCAA has also published  and continues to supplement an FAQ document that contains questions/answers pertaining to the publications.  As the resocialization publications have been updated, they have rendered certain of the FAQ content outdated. Those outdated portions of the FAQ have been removed from the published version and have been archived to this document solely for purposes of historical reference. This content is no longer consistent with the Association’s published position and should not be relied upon as guidance.

Questions can be directed to the NCAA Sport Science Institute at ssi@ncaa.org.

Tier 1

If a team physician is to be part of Tier 1, the physician must be named as part of the travel party of 34.  This means the individual will stay in the Tier 1 hotel and will be part of the controlled environment for the entire tournament. Even if fully vaccinated, the physician must confirm seven consecutive daily negative tests before departure for Indianapolis or San Antonio (one must be PCR) and will continue the same cadence of daily testing — including quarantine until one test on-site is confirmed negative if the physician travels with the original travel party. The physician also will maintain physical distancing and masking in accordance with Tier 1 guidance.

Physicians who are fully vaccinated may move in and out of Tier 1 under the following conditions:

  • They must notify the Command Center and turn in their credential before departing.
  • They remain part of their counted travel party of 34.
  • They continue daily COVID-19 testing while off-site and confirm negative test results.
  • They may re-enter Tier 1:
    • After notifying the Command Center that they are returning.
    • Following one negative test on-site.

If a physician needs to return to campus and the team would like a replacement team physician, the following conditions must be met:

  • The departing physician must notify the Command Center and return their credential.
  • The new team physician will replace the former team physician and, therefore, be part of the travel party of 34.
  • The new team physician must confirm travel plans with the Command Center and confirm seven consecutive daily negative tests before departure for Indianapolis or San Antonio (one must be PCR).
  • The new team physician may enter Tier 1 following one negative test on-site, at which time they will receive a credential.
  • The new team physician will continue the same cadence of daily testing and will maintain physical distancing and masking in accordance with Tier 1 guidance.

Non-Tier 1

If a team does not declare the physician part of the travel party of 34 but wishes the physician to be on-site for treatment, the following conditions apply:

  • The physician must notify the Command Center that they are arriving as a non-Tier 1 physician.
  • The physician must be fully vaccinated.
  • The physician may not enter the controlled environment, e.g., the bench, team hotel, team eating areas.
  • The physician will be seated with other Tier 4 individuals.
  • The physician may treat Tier 1 participants in designated treatment areas with full PPE.