With the forced absence of spring football in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak across the country, there are some questions about what will happen to the college football schedule moving forward. Assuming the season does get a chance to start on time, perhaps one of the biggest questions remaining is whether or not football programs will be able to get in any additional practice time to make up for the loss of up to 15 spring football practices.
There may be no way to truly get a firm grasp on what the NCAA is thinking one day-to-day basis, but a growing consensus seems to be leaning toward expecting the NCAA to address this concern to some degree. Texas A&M Athletics Director Ross Bjork is among the notable names expecting the NCAA to allow programs to hold what would amount to the college football equivalent of an NFL minicamp or off-season activity. Per Suzanne Halliburton of the Austin American-Statesman, via Twitter;
Texas A&M athletic director Ross Bjork anticipates that the NCAA will allow a type of mini camp for football in May, June or July to make up for spring practices, if they're totally scrapped.
— Suzanne Halliburton (@suzhalliburton) March 25, 2020
Echoing that idea, Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated stated noted “several ADs” appear to be in the same boat as Bjork, which suggests this is an idea that has been discussed across the coaching community and/or the AD community.
Several ADs expect something like this to be seriously considered. Many have compared it to OTAs. Would get players prepped for fall camp. https://t.co/rKdfxPo8jk
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) March 25, 2020
There are some complications that arise from adding extra football practices in the summer, however. As Penn State head coach James Franklin said in a Zoom conference call with the media on Wednesday, adding additional football activities to the summer schedule leads to a reduction in family and vacation time for coaches and pretty much everyone else involved.
When asked when he believes the team would have be back on campus in order for the season to be a full go on time James Franklin says he's been discussing this with Sandy Barbour. Franklin said he has his opinion, but he wants to hear from his strength staff and coordinators.
— Black Shoe Diaries (@BSDtweet) March 25, 2020
Is there a perfect solution to this unique situation? probably not. The extra time to practice would be a benefit for every program, of course. This is especially true for programs with a significant amount of coaching turnover, and not just the head coaching changes.