MINNEAPOLIS - We’re starting to get a feel for what sports could like in the fall at college campuses across the country.
The NCAA finalized on Wednesday its recommendations for summer athletic activities and preseason practice for the 2020 season in football. It also gave recommendations for summer workouts in men’s and women’s basketball.
You read that correctly. There’s a plan in place for college football into the fall after a three-month layoff due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The University of Minnesota football team was one week into its spring football season, coming off a historic 11-2 season, when the NCAA canceled all spring activities due to the Covid-19 health pandemic. Most players were sent home, and P.J. Fleck and the entire coaching staff went virtual with team meetings via video conference, and players working out on their own.
The NCAA Division I Council voted back on May 20 to approve individual voluntary workouts on college campuses starting in June, provided they abided by state and local Covid-19 guidelines.
The council said Wednesday, assuming football teams have their first regular season games the weekend of Sept. 5, athletes may be required to participate in up to eight hours of weight training, conditioning and film review per week, with no more than two hours of film, from July 13-23.
Starting July 24, athletes can do up to 20 hours of athletic activity per week, and not more than four hours per day. That includes up to six hours per week for walk-throughs, which can include a football. It also includes up to six hours per week of film review, team meetings, position meetings and 1-on-1 meetings. Preseason practices would begin Aug. 7, and there would be up to 25 on-field practices before the Week 1 kickoff.
Football players could be back on the Minnesota campus by the end of this week.
The Gophers are currently scheduled to host Florida Atlantic to open the 2020 regular season on Thursday, Sept. 3, at TCF Bank Stadium. We don’t yet know if fans will be at the game due to Covid-19 concerns.
The Division I Council also met Wednesday to approve a summer plan for men’s and women’s basketball. Athletes can do virtual, non-physical activities for up to eight hours per week through July 19.
Starting July 20, mandatory summer activities can start and last up to eight weeks, or until the school’s first day of classes or Sept. 15, whichever comes first. Virtual and in-person activities can’t exceed more than eight hours per week.
Teams also must abide by state and local Covid-19 guidelines. The Gopher men’s basketball team is coming off a 15-16 season in Richard Pitino’s seventy year, and having the Big Ten Tournament canceled after a win over Northwestern due to Covid-19. The Gopher women’s basketball team finished 16-15 in Lindsay Whalen’s second season after being eliminated by Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament.