The state of Virginia is limiting all gatherings to no more than 50 people. Old Dominion's football roster has... a lot more than that.
To adapt to the changing environment, ODU head coach Ricky Rahne has split his team into thirds. Each third will consist of 34 players, accompanied by 16 coaches, trainers and other Monarch staff members.
This will require ODU's coaching staff to be on the field for three practices per day, running from noon to 6 p.m.
"Having three pods will put a lot of stress on our coaches," Rahne told ODU's team site. "It's critical that we're taking of ourselves and our bodies. That's a lot more stress on us."
Rahne is a 40-year-old first-time head coach, leading the youngest staff in the nation.
"It's going to be very interesting. Like I told everyone when this (the pandemic) started, let's not complain about things we can't control. Let's deal with the hand that's been dealt to us."
In addition to reducing capacity on the field, ODU has limited its facility to no more than 50 players at a time, and is requiring players to dress and shower in their private residences.
On the plus side, the three-a-day structure will provide much more individual attention for each player than they'd otherwise get in a typical practice. For a team coming off a 1-11 season, that's a plus.
With the Monarchs tentatively scheduled to open their season Sept. 19 against FIU, Rahne's team needs as much time on the practice field as they can get, however they can get it.