Report: NCAA committee lays out plan to transition football programs toward September start

Report: NCAA committee lays out plan to transition football programs toward September start
Nebraska head strength coach Zach Duval leads warm-ups in August 2018 during a Huskers football camp practice at Hawks Championship Center. Journal Star file photo

The path to an on-time start to the college football season became clearer this week when the NCAA’s football oversight committee recommended a plan that would allow teams to gradually build up into a normal preseason camp.

Yahoo! Sports reported the details of the committee’s plan, which will still need to be approved next week by the NCAA’s Division I Council.

The current voluntary workouts that have been approved since June 1 would continue through July 12. Beginning July 13, the workouts can include further coaching and coaches can also work through two hours of film per week with their players.

That would last until July 24 when teams could transition to essentially a two-week mini-camp of on-field work. Those are set to be 20-hour weeks and will not include helmets or pads, but will allow for actual football work. This type of period has not been used at the college level previously.

Those two weeks lead, then, into a normal four-week preseason camp which would begin for most teams on Aug. 7.

“I’m feeling better and better about it. Every week that goes by, things are changing, and we get a little bit closer to having an on-time college football season,” NU coach Scott Frost said Wednesday in a radio interview. “I think that’s what our country probably needs and what everybody is looking forward to.”

So, the schedule looks like this:

June 1-July 12: Voluntary workouts.

July 13-23: Supervised workouts and organized film work.

July 24-Aug. 7: Non-padded mini-camp.

Aug. 7: Normal preseason camp begins.

Frost said overall he liked the way his team has handled workouts so far. NU has been doing voluntary workouts in Memorial Stadium and many of the players were working out on their own in Lincoln for some time before that.

“We’ve been working for a while and the vast majority of guys that we’re going to need to win are almost football-ready right now,” Frost said Wednesday. “Just as far as strength and conditioning levels, I feel really good about where we are.”

Frost told the Journal Star recently that he didn’t expect to get the 13 practices back that the Huskers missed this spring due to the coronavirus pandemic, and under this plan they wouldn’t. The extra two weeks of mini-camp, though, would allow for some of the installation work that is heavily emphasized in spring to take place.

“We’ll take anything we can get right now and certainly some football stuff leading up to the first game is going to help us rather than just going straight into camp,” Frost said this week.