And the NCAA has a plan.
Football coaches could begin interacting with their players as soon as the second week of July and by mid-July, they’ll be conducting walk-through practices, with a ball. That’s according to an NCAA proposal set for approval this week.
Continuing their progress toward an on-time kickoff to the season, college athletic leaders are set to take a giant leap down that path. On Thursday, the NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee is expected to approve the long-talked-about six-week preseason practice plan and recommend it to the NCAA D-I Council. The plan is in the last stages of finalization. A draft of the plan has been circulated to conference offices and athletic departments for feedback. The D-I Council would approve the final version of the plan at its next meeting on June 17. Only small adjustments are expected over the next three days. “We’re 90% there,” Shane Lyons, the West Virginia athletic director and chair of the Oversight Committee, told Sports Illustrated in an interview Monday.
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.
That’s just starters. There are plenty of potential road blocks ahead.
As part of the preseason plan, a team must practice four weeks before playing its first game, a rule that could conceivably impact early-season games if a program’s camp is interrupted.
Man, let’s hope it all works out. Fingers crossed.