The plan for restarting college football activities during a summer dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic is starting to come into picture.
The NCAA College Football Oversight Committee approved a four-phase plan on Thursday, noting that there’s one more hurdle to clear. The NCAA Division I Council will have to approve the plan during its meeting Wednesday.
While some teams have already begun individual voluntary workouts, the oversight committee’s plan calls for players and coaches to begin working together for eight hours per week on July 13. Teams will get about four weeks to work out and go over film before training camp starts Aug. 7. The length of workouts will be extended July 24, when teams will be allowed to gather for 20 hours per week, including eight hours of strength and conditioning, six hours of walkthroughs and six hours of meetings. Players must get at least two days off from July 24 through Aug. 6.
Everything can resume a week earlier for the 16 teams scheduled to start their season Aug. 29, rather than the following week.
Once training camp starts, the schedule will proceed as usual, as teams are required to have a 29-day practice period before playing games. College officials have discussed how this rule could keep teams on different timelines as the season approaches.
Football players and athletes were allowed to return to campuses across the country on June 1. A number have tested positive for COVID-19 since then, including at places like Alabama, Marshall, Oklahoma State and Iowa.
CBS Sports reported that the committee is looking at ways in which to combat potential depth issues caused by the coronavirus, including allowing players to redshirt even after playing more than four games this season.
Shane Lyons, oversight committee chair and athletic director at West Virginia, told CBS Sports the committee is focused on starting football and hasn’t come up with a plan for fans in the stands. Lyons said that he doesn’t believe games will sell out, even if fans are allowed.
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