Moar wussification coming

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.


Filed under The Body Is A Temple, The NCAA

16 responses to “Moar wussification coming

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    “Especially if you don’t want to get your ass sued off.”

    I was thinking the same thing by the time I got halfway through that post. Lawyers will jump on those guidelines faster than you can say “was that a siren?”


  2. Bright Idea

    How many of us will live long enough to pay for football with no helmets and pulling flags instead of tackling? Who’s gonna’ watch that on TV is the bigger question.


  3. DawgByte

    IMO these measures will lower the quality of play, particularly on the defensive side of the ball where live tackling practice is so important to perfecting technique. I hope each school has plenty of baseline data, because I’ll be very curious to see if these measures do anything to reduce injuries.


    • Brandon

      Honestly I think its worse. You are absolutely right in that the only way to really work on and improve tackling technique is through live practice. This technique specifically includes how to do it properly and safely and how to avoid the most serious of injuries (neck, spinal, etc.)


      • mwo

        Remember when UGA didn’t do live tackling because of injury concerns? They would thud and not tackle to the ground. Arm tackling was an epidemic by our defense.


  4. TimberRidgeDawg

    There is no way to learn proper and “safe” tackling technique other than through repetition and practice. It has to become rote in order to be performed correctly at live game speeds. And it is a process that has to be taught and reinforced from the youth levels up. Make sure players understand that heads are to be used as a target or a weapon and how to keep them safe on the field. The rules are already there to eliminate launching and kill shots on defenseless players. It is way different than from the days Jack Tatum and even Hines Ward and his crackback blocks are illegal now. Maybe they will do something about FishFry and his persistent cut blocking at some point to protect knees.

    Contact is at the heart of the sport. You might as well teach swimming on dry land.


  5. AusDawg85

    One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi…..


  6. 92 grad

    My first thought is that with the millions of dollars pouring into each school why not recruit and pay practice squads so your number one and two defense can live tackle against a squad that’s not on your roster? Same with offense, pay a non roster rec. team to play defense so you can practice live blocking against non-roster defense.

    I know it’s unrealistic, but someone will find a way to advance the skills of their players without injuring the 2-deep.


  7. 'Ol Gill

    My guess is that this is an attempt to lessen micro concussions that are getting to be more of a concern, i.e. the small concussions that linemen and linebackers suffer on a good number of live plays.

    I’m all for making the sport safer and I doubt quality of play will suffer much. Or at least it will suffer across the board. If it results in an extra missed tackle or two per game, who cares. I don’t watch football for perfect fundamentals. Football isn’t baseball where you count up the errors on one hand. Take any exciting play and you’ll likely see a few mistakes that let it happen.

    But then again, I got participation trophies as a kid so what do I know.


  8. BMan

    May be a good time to invest in the company that makes those robot tackle dummy pads that we’ve seen. I think schools are going to be buying into those units in a big way. Of course, McGarity will want to shore up the reserve fund before any cash outlay.


  9. Macallanlover

    There is a lot of room between Junction Boys type practices and wussification of the sport. I was a part of instances where coaches abused their authority in the name of toughness, and believe there are still some who cross the lines. Perhaps not to the degree we saw in the 50s and 60s, but putting some limits on contact, length of practices, hydration, paying closer attention to injury complaints do not bother me. While I don’t know where the exact line should be drawn, but I don’t have any issue with some controls. I also feel there should be some coaches working with the “scientists” to establish those limitations.