As of Wednesday, the college football season is expected to start at its normal time. Of course, as we have all learned through the COVID-19 pandemic, nothing is certain. However, if things continue to move on as scheduled, the NCAA will have to address the issue that a majority of its college football teams were unable to start or finish their 15 allowed spring practices.
On Wednesday, Texas A&M athletic director, Ross Bjork, reportedly said he anticipates the NCAA will allow some type of mini-camp, similar to the ones the NFL hosts, in May, June or July. Fall camp, typically, begins in the last week of July or the first week of August for most college football programs.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney says he has no issues with mini-camps or what NFL teams call OTAs – organized team activities.
“No pads, no tackling or anything like that, but just to be able to get on the field, teach your stuff, and have some prep time,” Swinney said. “Football prep is very important. There is a reason why Pro Football has OTAs and different phases before they get into camp.
“I don’t think extending camp is the right approach. I think it would be better, in my opinion, if you just gave schools opportunities to go out and have just some on-field sessions. Like I said, no pads, etc., but to be able to do some installation, run some full-speed stuff, good fundamentals and teach what you want to do. Football condition wise, get them a little bit more prepared for camp.”
Swinney isn’t sure how the logistics would work. He just thinks it should all be equal. For example, the Tigers got nine of their spring practices in prior to the coronavirus pandemic shutting everything down. He says if the NCAA decides to allow 12 mini-camps or workout sessions, then Clemson should be allowed to have three of them.
“Just to make it equitable or whatever,” he said. “But for some of these schools that got none, they could get 12. I would love that or at the very minimum have good quality meetings or walkthroughs on the field. I don’t know where it is going to go, but I would definitely be in support of that.”
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