Penn State to Get Head Start on Preseason Under New Division I Football Calendar

Mark Wogenrich

The NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee on Thursday recommended a significant calendar change that will allow teams more time to prepare for the 2020 season.

The committee announced a four-stage model that bridges the current voluntary workout period with two periods of mandatory workouts before training camps begin in August. The Division I Council is expected to approve the model Wednesday.

Under the plan, devised as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown, there are four key periods that precede season-opening games in September. These are the key dates:

June 1-July 12: Teams may conduct voluntary workouts on campus limited to eight hours per week.

July 13-23: Teams may conduct mandatory workouts limited to eight hours per week. These sessions can include weight training, conditioning and film review.

July 24-Aug. 6: This is an important, two-week period that will serve essentially as a training camp primer. In this 14-day stretch, teams may conduct 20 hours per week of workouts and team meetings. The time will be broken down into eight hours of workouts, six hours of walk-throughs (with footballs) and six hours of meetings and film study. Coaches are permitted to be part of these sessions.

Aug. 7: Training camps may begin for teams that open their seasons Sept. 5, as Penn State is scheduled to do against Kent State. Camps will include a five-day acclimatization period, followed by 25 practices.

"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,” Shane Lyons, committee chair and West Virginia athletic director, said in a statement.

As discussed here, the adjusted calendar would be a huge boost for Penn State, which is installing a new offense without the benefit of spring practice. The Lions begin voluntary workouts Monday.

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