Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta wants to make sure student-athletes know they have a choice when it comes to competition during this upcoming season. If there’s some hesitation to participate in contests this year, their scholarships will not be at risk.

Barta spoke with reporters on Thursday to touch on myriad topics about the upcoming athletics year. Most notably, Barta was asked about Iowa football players returning to campus, plans for Kinnick Stadium capacity and other such measures in the fall. But there were also talks about student-athletes who might be hesitant to compete this year due to the pandemic.

Barta says that if a student-athlete is uncomfortable competing this year, they will still retain their scholarship.

“We have had conversations about what happens if a student-athlete or a staff member doesn’t feel comfortable coming back to work,” Barta said, according to Yahoo Sports. “And understand, there could be an underlying health reason that they’re not able to come back and train or work. Or it could just be a concern that isn’t able to be addressed. Because remember, as long as the virus is here, and until a vaccine is created there will be risk. And we cannot eliminate — no matter what we do — we cannot eliminate risk. We will work to mitigate it and then people will have to make that choice.

“If we have a student-athlete who chooses not to return they still will remain in good standing with their team. We will work to mitigate the concerns that they raise but we would not have a student-athlete, during this year, if they felt that they couldn’t compete or train because of this COVID-19 virus, they would not lose their status or their scholarship.”

Iowa is planning to allow football players back on campus on June 8 for voluntary workouts. The NCAA opted to lift its moratorium on organized team activities on June 1. Basketball players will be permitted to return June 15.