Now that just about everybody has decided how much football they're willing to play this year, now begins the work of deciding how to prepare for this 2020 season we all very much hope happens.
If you're a coach or an administrator, how do you prepare players' bodies for the rigors of a football season while also limiting your players' exposure to the virus -- and by this we're talking time in the facility -- as much as possible? What's the right balance there?
Dave Doeren pinpointed it exactly here:
In the SEC, that answer has manifested in getting rid of fall camp.
To be clear, there will still be football players practicing in the month of August in preparation for games in September, October and November, but the conference is skipping over the "training camp" portion of the usual calendar.
On Tuesday, as first reported by Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated and confirmed by the SEC, from Aug. 7 (this Friday) through Aug. 16, teams will be permitted up to 14 hours per week of football-related activities. They can do strength work as well as hold walk-throughs and meetings, but those walk-throughs cannot contain helmets, pads or a football. This is an extension to the pre-preseason schedule the NCAA approved for this summer.
Beginning Aug. 17, SEC teams may move into a traditional in-season schedule. This means normal practices will be allowed, but teams are limited to 20 countable hours and are required to provide two off days per week. This will give SEC teams 40 days to hold 25 practices in advance of a scheduled Sept. 26 kickoff. The first full-padded practice cannot occur until the fifth day of this period, following two days of helmets-only practices and two days of shells.
The original schedule called for the beginning of camp on Aug. 7 for a Sept. 5 kickoff, so the revised schedule extends the pre-season portion of the schedule by 11 days.