Hands on, virtually speaking

I thought this was an interesting exchange between Seth Emerson and J.R. Reed ($$):

The expectation is that the defense should be fine because so many guys return. What do you think is the impact for the offense, considering there is a new quarterback, a new coordinator and so many new other guys?

Well you know, there’s a lot of things they can do where it’s not face-to-face. You can install things. You can go over film, like with Zoom and FaceTime, and get those guys on the same page. New quarterbacks, old quarterback, new coordinators getting into contact with quarterbacks. You can still set up meetings and sessions. And most of it’s done in the film room, as a lot of people know, but some people don’t know. You’ve got to be smart. You get all those X’s and O’s done, then you’ve got to go out there and run the play.

Except until yesterday, the SEC wasn’t allowing schools to do that.  That policy just changed.

Football programs across the SEC will be allowed to offer football instruction via remote tools beginning Monday, industry sources tell 247Sports.

A memo was sent Friday to athletic departments outlining the new guidelines.

The SEC had disallowed football programs to offer virtual instruction, position meetings and other football-related activities via online-only software such as FaceTime or Zoom during the coronavirus pandemic. The guidelines were enacted March 13 to allow no competitive advantages during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, when students were sent home from campuses across the SEC over the last two weeks.

The lifting of the instructional limitations will allow coaches and players to conduct meetings similar to a normal spring-practice situation, though all must be done virtually. This includes film review and instruction. Programs will be limited to two hours per week of mandatory activity.

Here’s the exact language from the SEC:

Required virtual film review, chalk talk, etc. that does not include physical activity shall be permissible. Any required activity of this nature shall be limited to two (2) hours of activity per week in all sports, shall be scheduled in accordance with the institution’s established Time Management Policy, and shall not interfere with required class time for online instruction. These activities may not include a review by or live monitoring of film/video of a student-athlete engaging in workouts or physical activity occurring after March 13, 2020. Institutions may not suggest or require a student-athlete to make film/video of his/her workouts or physical activity available by other means (such as social media).

Lotta questions for me there, mainly about how staffs will allocate time and how schools plan to keep track of it — or, to put it more finely, where the edge of the envelope is.  I’m sure Saban’s already got a couple of people on the mother.


Filed under SEC Football

8 responses to “Hands on, virtually speaking

  1. TN Dawg

    With the possibility of a cancelled season, does it make sense for returning seniors that may be drafted to reconsider entering the draft in hopes of getting some money?

    Does the NFL place restrictions on when you can declare yourself eligible.

    It occurs to me that a lot of those kids aren’t going to be on campus for housing and meals. Even a sixth or seventh round signing bonus might help them pay some bills.


  2. willypmd

    Why put a 2 hour per week time limit on it?

    Aren’t these players effectively stuck at home anyway,

    Wouldn’t the NCAA want to bend over backwards to allow teams to be as mentally ready for the season as possible with little real downside?

    What am I missing?


    • Dawgoholic

      Looks like to me there is no limit on voluntary time spent.

      Liked by 1 person

    • David H.

      As Dawgoholic said, athletes can spend more time on it voluntarily if they wish. But also, the semester is still going on and theoretically the players should be busy with online classes, homeworks, tests, etc. I guess they don’t want to force student athletes to add in a lot of sports “training” on top of that, but I’m sure many players will do extra film work and online meetings with each other on their own.


  3. Just Chuck (The Other One)

    TAs it said in the article, the key to the whole thing is “You’ve got to be smart. ” Think we’ve got that covered.