Six-Week Practice Period Proposed for College Football

Brock Fritz Headshot

College football is working toward a timeline for a 2020-21 season that is expected to be impacted by COVID-19 in some way.

According to Stadium, the NCAA’s Football Oversight Committee recently suggested a six-week practice period before teams can play games. Stadium’s Brett McMurphy reported that the NCAA COVID-19 Advisory Panel could approve the suggested practice period this week, which would allow it to become an official recommendation.

Despite the current stay-at-home orders across the United States, athletic directors are committed to playing college football in 2020-21. A poll conducted by McMurphy concluded that 99 percent of the 114 athletic directors surveyed believe football will be played during the school year, although 75 percent believe the season will be delayed. There is also some talk of moving the traditional fall sport to the spring semester.

Related content: ADs Agree College Football Coming in 2020-21

The season is currently scheduled to begin with a seven-game slate on Aug. 29. The remaining teams will open the season between Sept. 3 and Sept. 7. Therefore, in order to fit the six-week practice period, all teams would need to report to camp by about July 27.

The ability of teams to gather this summer depends on whether or not the rest of the country opens. Earlier this month, the College Football Playoff Management Committee told vice president Mike Pence that there won’t be college football unless students are allowed to return to campuses.

“Our players are students. If we’re not in college, we’re not having contests,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said, according to CBS Sports. “Our message was, we need to get universities and colleges back open, that we were education-based programs, and we weren’t going to have sports until we had something closer to normal college going on.”

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