The NCAA Division I Council approved a new model for preseason activities on Wednesday, paving the way for a return to football.
“Given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across the country, we believe this model provides institutions and their student-athletes flexibility to prepare for the upcoming season,” said Shane Lyons, athletic director at West Virginia and chair of the Division I Football Oversight Committee.
The plan sets a calendar for a return to official workouts. Starting July 13, schools can require eight hours of weight training conditioning and film review per week. Schools have some leeway to set workouts now, but all activities are voluntary.
Starting July 24, coaches can set 20 hours of countable athletic activities per week and up to four per day. Eight hours can be weight training and conditioning, six hours can include a football for walkthroughs and six hours can be dedicated to film review and meetings. Two off days are required.
The new model does not make any changes to the normal 29-day preseason practice period, which for games starting on Sept. 5 will set the start of preseason practice on Aug. 7. It leaves working through local complications from COVID-19 up to the schools.
College programs are in the midst of returning to campus and testing student-athletes for health concerns. Houston was the first school to shut down voluntary organized workouts after several players tested positive for COVID-19.
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