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New proposal would allow for joint practices in fall camp

The MAC is asking the NCAA to allow FBS teams to hold joint practices, beginning this fall.

A major change could come to the training camp calendar, as soon as this August. 

The MAC will ask the NCAA to consider a proposal that would allow FBS teams to hold NFL-style joint practices, beginning with the 2022 season. The practice would occur within the existing training camp schedule, established last year: i.e., one of the 18 allowable practices, and no more than 75 minutes of full contact.

"Student-athletes in many sports other than football have an opportunity to test themselves and measure their preparation by facing an opponent in scrimmages of exhibitions," the proposal reads. "A joint practice with another institution during the preseason would allow football student-athletes an opportunity to prepare for the upcoming season." 

Via Bryan Fischer:

If it were up to me, this proposal passes for a number of reasons.

1) Players would love it. Ideally, a joint practice would occur in the third week of camp, when the dog days have fully set in. The opening days excitement in the rearview mirror, and the anticipation of the first game is still just a speck in the windshield. When your team is just sick of practicing and ready to hit some opposing colors, that's when you bring in the opposing colors.

2) The business office would love it. Put it in your stadium, charge $10 a pop, and use the joint practice as a pseudo preseason pep rally.

Of course, paranoid coaches would hate the idea of selling tickets to a practice almost as much as they'd hate the idea of practicing against an opposing team... who, surely, would upload all the info they just gleaned to the coach's rivals.

NFL joint practices are mostly inter-conference affairs, and one assumes the same principle would apply at the college level. Auburn vs. South Alabama, not Auburn vs. Alabama. If limited strictly to the FBS, one would imagine the Pac-12 and Mountain West being less in favor of the idea than their eastern colleagues, simply due to lack of options. Washington isn't flying Wyoming in for a practice, and Wyoming isn't hopping on a plane for a simple practice. 

Of course, this proposal isn't up to me. The Football Oversight Committee will have its say, and that group is purportedly against joint practices. 

Stay tuned.