For safety reasons, the NCAA Sport Science Institute has recommended eliminating the popular two-a-day preseason practices and reducing contact at all practices, including limiting full contact to once a week during the season.
No doubt the Bear is turning over in his grave about now.
Here are the details:
- In-season practices: Allow three days per week of non-contact/minimal contact, one day of live contact/tackling, and one day of live contact/thud. Currently, the recommendation is no more than two live contact/tackling days. Live contact means tackling to the ground and/or full-speed blocking. Non-contact/minimal contact practices don’t involve tackling, thud (in which players hit but don’t take each other to the ground), or full-speed blocking.
- Preseason practices: Allow up to three days of live contact per week (tackling or thud) and three non-contact/minimal contact practices per week. One day must be no practice. A non-contact/minimal contact practice must follow a scrimmage.
- Postseason practices: If there’s two weeks or less between the final regular-season game/conference championship game and the bowl game, in-season practice recommendations should remain in place. If there’s more than two weeks, then up to three days per week may be live contact and three days of non-contact/minimal contact.
- Spring practices: Eight of the 15 allowable practices may involve live contact, including three that can be scrimmages. Live contact should be limited to two practices per week and not on consecutive days.
There is a caveat.
Of course, these changes are just recommendations. Even if the NCAA writes these guidelines into legislation, “you can choose to do what you want,” Hainline acknowledged. “But culturally, to ignore this public document that has such widespread endorsement, I don’t think it makes any sense from any point of view that you can point to.”
Especially if you don’t want to get your ass sued off.