The Football Oversight Committee on Thursday agreed to recommend to the Division I Council a spring-season model for conferences that push their seasons to spring of 2021. It includes 15 practices in 29 days and an eight-game season that must end by April 17.
Any other conferences that have postponed their season because of the coronavirus pandemic but decide to resume playing games earlier than next spring will not be able to use the 15-practice model, but it will be recommended all leagues that have postponed will have 13 weeks to complete their seasons.
If a school or conference wants to commence play earlier than in the spring, then it won’t be limited to an eight-game schedule. And those who try to split the baby don’t get the proposed spring model.
If the Big Ten or any other league resumes play in late November, it wouldn’t be allowed to use the proposed practice format of 29 days to have 15 practices, as is the case during a typical spring season. Only teams that push the season to spring of 2021 would be able to make use of that model.
“There was a concern about having more than eight games if you’re only in the spring,” Lyons said. “If you’re using your 13 weeks in both terms, then you don’t get fall ball or spring ball. You don’t get your cake and eat it, too.”
One more thing:
The split college football seasons have also raised a question for midyear enrollees — high school athletes who graduate in December and enroll in college in January so they can participate in spring practices. Instead of practicing, though, some teams might be playing games, opening the door for debate about whether those recent high school graduates will be eligible for competition.
“There was not support to allow midyear enrollees, transfers or incoming freshmen to compete in the spring semester,” Lyons said.
I don’t get that. If, as Lyons indicated, the NCAA is concerned enough about player safety issues to limit the spring season to eight games, why wouldn’t you let teams play as many kids in the spring as they can?