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NCAA approves football preseason model

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Programs won’t be able to make up lost practices during spring football, but there is now a plan for the return of football.

NCAA Football: Alamo Bowl-Utah vs Texas Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, the Division I Football Oversight Committee approved recommendations for summer athletic activities and a six-week preseason plan for football to return in 2020.

The Division I Council approved it on Wednesday.

“This is the culmination of a significant amount of collaboration in our effort to find the best solution for Division I football institutions,” said Shane Lyons, chair of the committee and athletics director at West Virginia. “Our student-athletes, conference commissioners, coaches and health and safety professionals helped mold the model we are proposing.”

For programs like that Texas Longhorns that kick off the season opener on Sept. 5, the model continues to allow up to eight hours of weight training, conditioning, and film review per week from July 13-23.

During the next stretch, from July 24 to Aug. 6, programs are allowed a maximum of eight hours per week for weight training and conditioning, a maximum of six hours per week for walk-through (footballs allowable), and a maximum of six hours per week for meetings, including film review, team meetings, position meetings, etc.

The typical 29-day preseason practice period will remain unchanged from previous years.

“Given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across the country, we believe this model provides institutions and their student-athletes flexibility to prepare for the upcoming season,” Lyons said.

Here’s a graphic version of the schedule:

Despite not taking full advantage of the eight hours per week allowed for meetings during the time off campus due to the coronavirus pandemic, Texas head coach Tom Herman feels comfortable about where his team is at as some players prepare to begin voluntary workouts on Monday.

So even though there are two new coordinators and five other new assistants, Herman believes that the ability to go through walk-throughs during winter conditioning, along with the meeting time afforded over the last several months, have the team on track — the coaches have met more from February to June than they have in previous years, although those meetings have mostly been virtual.

Meetings on specialty packages like throwing downs, red-zone situations, and short-yardage situations typically don’t happen until training camp, but the coaches have already discussed those elements of the offense.

Herman expressed disappointment that the Football Oversight Committee didn’t allow for any 7-on-7 or 11-on-11 work to make up for the loss of spring practice, but admitted that some of his frustration was merely a result of coaches being creatures of habit.

“Now, certainly at this at this juncture, I’m not complaining — we’ll take everything that we can get at this point,” Herman said.