NCAA Aims to Limit Preseason Contact for Football

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The NCAA’s football oversight committee is hoping new guidelines will lead to less contact during preseason practices.

According to the Associated Press, the committee is preparing to recommend changes to preseason camp that would include fewer fully padded practices and the elimination of some dated drills.

The move comes in response to a five-year study, which gathered data from six major college football teams. The study found that more head impact and concussions happened in preseason practice than during games.

The committee’s initial proposal called for at least nine of a team’s 25 preseason practices to be run with players wearing helmets but no other pads, and no more than eight fully-padded, full-contact practices, according to the AP. That proposal went out to NCAA membership for feedback two weeks ago.

West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons, the chairman of the committee, said the proposal will be handed over to the D-I Council for consideration at its May 19 meeting.

If passed, the new model would go into effect this year.

“We’re trying to provide as much flexibility within the model as possible and not dictate what days they get to do what, and give each coach the ability to coach how they want to,” Lyons told the AP. “But then also limit the number of contacts that we currently have from a direct hit, head-to-head contacts that you currently have in practices." 

The proposal would also limit live-tackling practices to no more than 90 minutes.

“What I’m hearing, a lot of coaches aren’t using 90 minutes so we may look and say, ‘Is that 75 minutes?’” Lyons said.

The study found that 48.5 percent of the concussions recorded occurred during August training camp. The teams involved in the study were Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Wisconsin, UCLA, Air Force and Army.

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