The Ducks were 100 days out from the scheduled start of their 2020 football season on Thursday.


In a normal year, especially for passionate fans of a loaded team with championship expectations, the final countdown to the kickoff of college football can feel like an eternity.


But Oregon’s athletic department administrators, coaches and players need all the time they can get to prepare for an autumn of uncertainty amid the COVID-19 health crisis.


The Pac-12 announced Tuesday the conference will allow voluntary in-person workouts for all sports beginning June 15.


Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens and his staff are waiting for Gov. Kate Brown — who ordered the campus to remain closed through the remainder of the spring quarter, which ends June 12 — to give her approval before officially welcoming back a flock of Ducks.


"We’re continuing to work with the Governor’s Office, public health experts and the University on all plans relative to return to campus," an Oregon athletic department spokesperson said in a statement to The Register-Guard.


For football strength and conditioning coordinator Aaron Feld, the "Flex Friday" slogan could be updated with "Wipe Down Wednesday" when players step back into the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex.


The Pac-12 has outlined steps for its member schools to follow, based on best practice guidelines and protocols established by the conference’s COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee, which is composed of infectious disease experts, physicians, researchers and trainers connected at its universities.


Student-athletes returning to campus must be symptom free with no known COVID-19 contact for 14 days prior to their return.


No additional isolation is necessary for players driving back to campus. Players flying back to Eugene should consider isolation for seven days prior to return.


Lane County is in Phase One of reopening, which allows for private gyms and fitness centers to be open.


The Pac-12 recommends that high-risk staff and students consider delaying their return until Stage 3 of national reopening criteria or go through "an informed decision-making process" with medical staff before a return to the athletic facilities.


Once athletes are approved to return, they will undergo a pre-participation evaluation and lab testing. Health education for athletes and staff must be provided for the "setting of cultural expectations, including hygiene."


An activity/contact tracing system must be set up. Face coverings must be worn inside athletic facilities at all times.


The Pac-12 also recommends negative symptom and temperature checks prior to admitting athletes and staff into facilities, as well as strategies for maintaining safe distancing and increased cleaning.


Weight lifting sessions should be limited to small groups with equipment cleaned after every individual use. Players may be asked to shower at home during the early stages of the reintegration.


Instead of providing a dining-in team training table, programs are asked to provide players to-go meals to be eaten outside the facility.


Players will continue to be subjected to daily symptoms and temperature tests while returning to exercise. Weight room, conditioning and small-group activity participants must wear cloth face coverings at all times and maintain six feet of distancing.


Team meetings will still be conducted online.


The Pac-12 protocols for responding to a positive coronavirus infection or a presumed infection include quarantining the individual.


Infected athletes will not be allowed to return to activity until they are symptom free for 72 hours and at least 10 days since the onset of their symptoms.


Alternatively, players can return to action if they are symptom free and have two negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests more than 24 hours apart.


Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott believes June 15 is the right time for Oregon and its conference rival programs to begin preparing for the 2020 season.


"As states have either already opened or begin to open up access to parks, gyms and other training facilities, student-athletes should have the option at this time to be in, what for many, will be a much safer environment on campus, where they can have access to the best available health, well-being and training support," Scott said in a release.


The Ducks, coming off a Pac-12 championship and Rose Bowl victory, are expected to be ranked in the top 10 when the preseason Associated Press poll is released later this summer.


During a Zoom call last week with the media, Mullens said Oregon hopes to play all 12 games on the schedule.


The home opener against FCS champion North Dakota State is Sept. 5, followed by a marquee nonconference matchup with Ohio State on Sept. 12.


"A safe return to play is an absolute requirement," Mullens said of players returning to campus to begin workouts and eventually practices. "Specifically to football, what we’ve been looking at is a minimum of six weeks.


"That hasn’t been finalized, but in the discussions we’ve had everybody has kind of rallied around we need a minimum of six weeks to have a safe return to the sport of football."


Contact reporter Ryan Thorburn at rthorburn@registerguard.com or 541-338-2330, and follow him on Twitter @By_RyanThorburn and Instagram @rg_ducksports. Want more stories like this? Subscribe to get unlimited access and support local journalism.