What the Proposed, Updated Summer Practice Schedule Looks Like
The NCAA has voted to allow athletes back on campus on June 1. For now, all workouts on campus are voluntary. However, proposals exist to potentially allow expanded practice and training camps.
NCAA decision makers are mulling a proposal that a would include NFL-like organized team activities plus a four-week training camp. This proposal would require schools to go through both phases before the season can begin.
In the NFL OTA model, teams are allowed ten OTA days, with no more than four-straight days of practice and no weekend practices. Practices are limited to four hours per day.
No live contact exists during OTAs and there cannot be one-on-one offense vs defense drills. Team drills are allowed as long as there is no live contact.
In the latest NCAA proposal, Ole Miss would start their OTAs in late July. There would be two-weeks of NFL-style OTAs before the standard four-week camps in August.
Lane Kiffin has been pretty adamant about the challenges facing first year head coaches, especially those that are amplified in the coronavirus days.
"There's a lot of (challenges), and it's maximized with the coronavirus. To have no spring ball, it's very difficult," Kiffin said in a recent Q&A. "In general, the first year is just learning your roster and your staff. The staffs are so big these days, it used to just be a couple coaches and a GA. Now it's 10 coaches, four GA's and all sorts of what we call outfield coaches."
This theoretical proposal would give Kiffin and other coaches two weeks of additional work. But it's not exactly an entire spring. In the spring, teams are allowed 15 practices and 12 of them can have contact. You also get a full-contact spring game. All of those contact portions are out the window.
Ole Miss was one of 78 programs that never even began that spring practice before COVID-19 shut down the nation.
The latest proposals provide further optimism in a week that has had the most good news since the start of this outbreak. If Ole Miss returns to their OTAs on July 25, they'd be able to get a full two week of OTAs and a four-week training camp in by the weekend of their season opener against Baylor.
A few other measures still need to kick in before the thoughts of these potential OTAs commence. The SEC will be voting later today (May 22) on as to whether the return of athletes to campus on July 1 will be allowed. The NCAA already approved this July 1 return date for voluntary work, but individual conferences and then individual schools must also allow it.
That news should be coming within hours.
But for now we have some optimism and we have a plan for additional time on the field.