Cowboys Football Staff Make Quick Use of Newly Allowed Virtual Meetings

Robert Allen

STILLWATER -- The Big 12 and other Power Five conferences had just decided over the weekend that coaching staffs in all sports in their leagues could now use virtual meetings on the internet to meet with their players. The SEC believes it means more and they pushed the news out to ESPN on Saturday. The Big 12 released their new policies on Sunday evening. The new guidelines to live with during the COVID-19 pandemic went into place at 7 a.m. Monday, March 30. Oklahoma State defensive line coach Joe Bob Clements was in a virtual meeting with his defensive linemen at around 10 a.m. 

"Yes, Joe Bob already cranked his out and met with his players this morning," Oklahoma State football director of video Zack Ramsey said proudly. "He met with his players and it is running pretty smoothly."

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Defensive line coach Joe Bob Clements was maybe the first Big 12 assistant coach to do a virtual meeting. He had it going within the first few hours that it was legal. Robert Allen - Pokes Report publisher

The Big 12 Conference statement clarified several things that coaching staff could do with their players, but made it clear that in-person meetings and use of the facilities on campus is not permitted. The only thing that coaches can do to add to the physical performance or work of players is send them workout instructions, videos of examples of the exercises and drills. They can send aid like stretch bands and foam rollers. 

Meetings, they can get face-to-face on the computer screen.

From the Big 12 release:  All “virtual” group activities, including film study, are limited to two hours per week in all sports. Only countable coaches may conduct virtual film study, technical discussions, tactical sessions and other non-physical activities. These policies will be revisited and adjusted at regular intervals and as circumstances dictate.

"We had a pretty good idea that we were going to get clearance to do these kind of meetings, so Michael (Iven) and I started kind of investigating how we were going to go about it," explained Ramsey. "We were a little in front of this when the green light came down last night. Coaches started contacting us saying I want to do my meeting here or I want to do it there."

The Oklahoma State football coaching staff is conducting their meetings with Zoom. Heck, I did two Zoom meetings last week. It is really a good little system. One that many schools and businesses are using during the COVID-19 pandemic with people working from home. 

"That is what we've been doing all morning is getting Zoom set up on all the coaches computers. getting them logged in, and showing them how it works," Ramsey continued. "Zoom is really a neat deal. I wasn't really familiar with it until last week. The coaches can share whatever is on their screen, so whatever the coach has on his screen can then be shared out and all the players have it on their screen.

"Joe Bob was able to get on there this morning with all of his players and show them edits out of XOS, which is our edit software and it was on all of their screens," added Ramsey.

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Oklahoma State on offense against Oregon State last season.Screenshot from OSU XOS

Speaking of XOS, Ramsey and Iven had that system loaded with all the video of the first four opponents for next season. Oregon State, Tulsa, Western Illinois, and TCU were all loaded with games, cut-ups by situation and by calls so the coaching staff could begin studying and game planning for those games.

"That is normally something that would be done late spring or early summer, but Coach Gundy said we needed to have that ready," Ramsey said. "It is something we have access and the time to do, so we were glad to have that ready for the coaches to work on."

Technology is being pushed and that probably is not a bad thing. it never hurts for old dogs to learn new tricks. It doesn't hurt to shake up the schedule a little. A lot of that is going on right now. There may be even more of it before we can get back to good old face-to-face meetings and back on regular schedules. 

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