NCAA Oversight Committee Reportedly Expected to Approve Preseason Practice Plan

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - NOVEMBER 23: A football with the Nike logo before the game between the Charlotte 49ers and the Marshall Thundering Herd at Jerry Richardson Stadium on November 23, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

The NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee is weighing a proposal to allow players to conduct limited workouts with coaches starting the second week of July, according to Sports Illustrated‘s Ross Dellenger.

Under the proposed timeline, walk-throughs would commence in mid-July. The committee is expected to approve the plan on Thursday and recommend it to the Division I Council. 

Brandon Marcello @bmarcello

NCAA set to approve 6-week calendar for ramp-up to college football season (@RossDellenger 1st)

In May, the Division I Council voted to allow schools to hold voluntary on-campus workouts for their football and basketball teams beginning June 1.

With states across the country relaxing stay-at-home guidelines, many have wondered when the NCAA would open the door for more involved workouts.

Dellenger provided some of the specifics for the possible changes next month:

“Under the plan, normal ‘required’ summer workouts, which includes coaching interaction, could begin for some as early as July 6. Last month, the NCAA granted schools the ability beginning June 1 to hold on-campus voluntary workouts, which do not include coaching interaction. In required workouts, athletes can spend six hours a week with the strength staff on weight training and conditioning and spend two hours with coaches for film study. The required workouts would lead into what’s being termed as ‘enhanced’ summer training, a two-week stretch constituting the first portion of the proposed six-week preseason practice plan.”

During the “enhanced” training window, players would go through eight hours of weekly strength training and one hour apiece daily for walk-throughs and team meetings. During the walk-throughs, coaches can conduct a typical practice without pads or helmets.

While this represents a step forward in staging a 2020 season, the executive director of the American Football Coaches Association explained to Dellenger that much remains up in the air. Todd Berry, who is also a member of the Oversight Committee, said a spike in coronavirus cases could not only disrupt preseason preparations but also impact the regular season.

Berry threw out a hypothetical in which one team backs out of a game on short notice because of a COVID-19 outbreak.

According to the New York Times‘ Alan Blinder and Jonathan Martin, NCAA president Mark Emmert told Republicans in Congress that conference championship games could be moved up to Thanksgiving weekend to avoid a potential second wave of the coronavirus in the winter months.

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