Category Archives: The Body Is A Temple

Full speed ahead in Charlotte

North Carolina Governor Cooper just opened the doors for Georgia’s first game of the season.

Today, Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. shared an update on the state’s COVID-19 progress. Throughout the pandemic, state officials have taken a data-driven approach and have been guided by the science in making decisions. Following yesterday’s guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that fully vaccinated individuals can safely do most activities without wearing a mask or the need to social distance from others, the state will remove its indoor mask mandate for most settings. Additionally, the state will lift all mass gathering limits and social distancing requirements. These changes are now in effect as of 1:30 PM today.

I’m happy, but not as happy as the two schools’ athletic directors, who just saw the gate receipts skyrocket.

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Filed under Georgia Football, The Body Is A Temple

“The vaccine is a competitive advantage.”

Why am I not surprised to learn this?

Two weeks before summer training begins and less than two months before fall camp opens, dozens of college football teams are struggling to vaccinate their athletes. Similar to the country’s regional discrepancy in COVID-19 protocols, the U.S. is a fractured mess as it relates to the vaccine. And that goes for universities as well.

Some, such as Ohio State, Notre Dame and Navy, have at least 90% of their football team vaccinated. Others, like Clemson, Charlotte and Ole Miss, are below the 20% mark. And then there are those like Tennessee, Oregon State and Troy, hovering around 50–60%.

While administrators expect a surge of vaccinations when players return to campus in June, many of them fear that athletes will continue to eschew the shots for some of the same reasons as those in the general population—religious beliefs, conspiracy theories and misplaced guidance from others.

“The low vaccination rates are worrisome,” says one ACC school administrator who asked for anonymity. “I’m battling trying to figure out how to normalize this vaccine.”

This is a bigger deal than you might think, because of the logistics.

Though college-age people often experience little to no ill effects from COVID-19, vaccinations are imperative, NCAA medical experts say. They clear a path back to normalcy. A team reaching enough vaccinations will likely avoid the coronavirus protocols and disruptions that marked the 2020 season.

In fact, officials expect a different set of protocols for those vaccinated and unvaccinated. Players choosing not to vaccinate will find themselves subject to contact-tracing and quarantine rules—the biggest disrupter of 2020—as well as regular testing. Those vaccinated will be exempt from such. In short, COVID-19 outbreaks on or around a team will likely affect only unvaccinated players and staff.

As the article notes, at Clemson, the Tigers are only at a 10% vaccination level.  And the meter is running.

“The two-shot vaccines take six weeks to be fully effective,” says Jeff Dugas, Troy’s team doctor and an orthopedic surgeon in Birmingham who chairs the Sun Belt’s COVID-19 advisory panel. “They need to be vaccinated by mid-June. They’ve got five weeks before they need to have the first shot.”

I have to believe Dabo is going to move heaven and earth to hammer that number.  But what happens if he can’t move the needle sufficiently?  How will that impact Clemson’s approach to the opener with Georgia?  Beats me, but I’ll be watching to see.

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Filed under College Football, The Body Is A Temple

If it’s good enough for Foley Field…

… hopefully, it’ll be good enough for Sanford Stadium in four months.

When Georgia’s baseball team entertains Ole Miss next week for its final regular-season series, the Bulldogs will be able to play in front of a packed house at Foley Field.

“We have been steadily preparing for 100 percent capacity at sporting events for next year and after seeing how some professional teams in our area have handled expanded attendance successfully, we believe this is the perfect opportunity to increase to full operations,” said athletic director Josh Brooks. “This is one positive step to bringing Bulldog Nation back to campus to celebrate and support our teams.”

Gates will open one hour before each game. Attendance, which had been capped at 664, will now return to 3,200.

The Southeastern Conference event protocols will remain in place. Spectators will still be required to wear masks or face coverings when entering and moving about the facility.

Maybe they’ll even let us start using chairs for tailgating again.  Be still, my heart.

*************************************************************************

UPDATE:

At least we know there’s one football venue that will be packed with red and black this season.

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Filed under Georgia Football, The Body Is A Temple

“But, as the old adage goes, safety first.”

I’ve mentioned this before, but change is coming to fall camp.

In the last five years alone, college sports has stripped the teeth from fall camp in the name of safety, softening one of the more grueling, traditional rights of passage for NCAA football players. Officials have eliminated two-a-days, slashed practice days, added mandatory off days and reduced camp rosters.

The fifth change to fall camp in six years is expected to happen this month, as Sports Illustrated reported two weeks ago. Officials are poised to abolish long-standing collision drills, such as the Oklahoma Drill, and reduce the number of full-padded, contact practices and scrimmages that coaches can conduct in camp.

On Thursday, a subgroup of the NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee is expected to recommend the changes to the Division I Council, which must okay the new rules at its May 19 meeting. Over the last two weeks, committee members have socialized the camp modifications across FBS and FCS conferences for feedback from hundreds of coaches.

As you can probably guess, coaches aren’t particularly thrilled by this.  (Then again, they’re not the ones hiring the lawyers to defend the suits arising out of head injuries.  But, I digress.)

Even former coaches aren’t particularly thrilled by this.  Welcome back a familiar, warm and cuddly face to the blog.

Enforcing these new rules could be a difficult endeavor, says Paul Johnson, the former Georgia Tech coach whose teams excelled at the triple option for decades. He calls the new rules “ridiculous” and believes that diminishing full-padded practices will not reduce contact as much as officials hope.

“If you ever go to practice, they scrimmage in shells and they play full speed in shells,” he says. “Some people are going to go by the rules and some won’t. Who’s going to stand out there and tell Nick Saban you’re over the time limit? The Alabama compliance person? They wouldn’t be there long.”

Grumble, grumble, cut blocking… something, something.  Wait, did the genius just call Nick Saban a cheater?  I’m sure Nick’s gonna lose a lot of sleep over that.

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Filed under The Body Is A Temple, The NCAA

Clemson gets one back.

Just thought you’d like to know:

Clemson defensive end Justin Foster will return to the Tigers for the 2021 season, the school announced Wednesday. Foster stepped away from the team in February due to complications related to asthma and COVID-19.

The dude was a productive player, to say the least, with 66 career tackles (17.5 for loss), seven sacks, a pass breakup, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 756 snaps over 39 career games with 13 starts from 2017-19.

Sure, it’s a long way back to being game ready, but if he makes it, that defensive front gets a little more formidable for Georgia’s opener.

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Filed under Clemson: Auburn With A Lake, The Body Is A Temple

TFW you’ve recovered from a gruesome injury

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint.

Some people say Ron Courson is a wizard.  Now, I’m not saying that.  I’m just saying some people say that.

This offense has the potential to be hell on wheels, even with Pickens missing.  Let’s hope for more good health.

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Filed under Georgia Football, The Body Is A Temple

Thursday morning buffet

There’s always something to fill the ol’ chafing dishes.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football, Political Wankery, SEC Football, The Body Is A Temple, Transfers Are For Coaches.

“The data is the data.”

The NCAA is changing preseason camp rules.

In response to results from a five-year concussion study released earlier this spring, an NCAA legislative committee is deeply exploring ways to make the annual August camp a safer place, officials told Sports Illustrated in interviews this week. The Football Oversight Committee (FOC), college football’s highest policy-making group, plans to present recommendations soon that will significantly change one of football’s most grueling traditions.

Committee members are considering a reduction of full-padded camp practices (from 21 to eight), the complete abolishment of collision exercises (such as the “Oklahoma” drill) and limiting a team to two scrimmages per camp (lowered from three and a half).

The changes stem from a study published in February that was funded by the NCAA and Department of Defense. The study tracked head exposures in six Division I college football teams from 2015 to ’19, finding that 72% of concussions occurred during practice and nearly 50% happened in preseason practice, despite it representing just one-fifth of the football season. Total head impacts in the preseason occurred at twice the rate of the regular season. More than 650 players from Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Wisconsin, UCLA, Air Force and Army were involved in the study.

The study leaves college administrators with no choice but to again adjust college football’s preseason camp policies, says Shane Lyons, the West Virginia athletic director and the chair of the FOC.

Nobody likes being sued.  Right, NCAA?

Though the changes seem significant, they shouldn’t impact the majority of coaches in a dramatic way. Results from an American Football Coaches Association survey this spring showed that many coaches already adhere to such camp practices, says Todd Berry, the AFCA executive director.

That’s what they say, anyway.

The new rules are the latest way the NCAA is attempting to relax what was once known as the most excruciating and laborious experience in football. For years now, fall camp has seen its teeth removed in the name of safety. In 2017, the NCAA banned two-a-days, and in 2018, the governing body reduced the number of preseason practices from 29 to 25.

The latest impending modifications keep both the number of practices (25) over the same amount of days (29) but adjust the type of practices coaches can hold.

In the latest working model, a 25-practice camp must include at least nine non-contact, padless practices (helmets only). That’s up from the current rule of two mandatory padless practices, which are part of an acclimatization period at the beginning of each camp. No more than eight practices can feature full pads and full contact, up from 21 under the current rule.

… The working model would also reduce scrimmages from three and a half to two; would permit a maximum of 90 minutes of full tackling in any one single padded practice; and would prohibit more than two consecutive full-padded practices, requiring coaches to wedge in non-contact and shell practices.

There was a limit on the changes, though.

… The committee rejected a request from the SEC to expand camp by six days to allow for more days off. According to a letter obtained by SI and sent to the FOC, the league wanted to hold 25 practices over 35 days, lengthening camp to spread out its full-contact practices.

That seems like a player-friendly, pro-safety move, so why not?  My guess — and it’s pure speculation, based only on my gut feeling of college football doing college football things — is that it would cost more money to do so.  Doing it for the kids is not the NCAA’s prime directive.

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Filed under College Football, The Body Is A Temple

Good news for Charlotte?

North Carolinians, get your damned shots.  We’ve got a game to catch in September!

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Filed under Georgia Football, The Body Is A Temple

Just get the damned shot.

C’mon, kids, don’t be difficult.

That’s gonna be a logistical pain in the ass, not just for the teams unvaccinated players are on, but their opponents, too.  Let’s not screw around with this, okay?

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Filed under SEC Football, The Body Is A Temple