Spring football is mostly limited to Zoom nowadays due to the coronavirus and the NCAA is making the necessary adjustments to facilitate more interaction with coaches as a result.
In a release issued on Thursday afternoon, the organization confirmed they have made legislative changes to allow for up to eight hours of virtual communication with players. This includes everything from film sessions to full on team meetings.
“This change not only allows coaches to continue to educate their student-athletes but also fosters the connectivity that comes with team-based activities,” said Division I Council chair M. Grace Calhoun, athletics director at Penn, in a statement. “Regular, individual check-ins between student-athletes and coaches remain permissible and are encouraged.”
Various conferences had noted they requested such an increase from the previous four hours as more and more of college athletes have transitioned to online learning in the classroom and with their sport. Interestingly, players will also be required to have a formal day off as well. Coaches and players probably already got such a day off given the state of things across the country but there will now be some limits on the interactions going forward.
Physical athletics activities will still continue to be prohibited as COIVD-19 has sent most football teams home for the rest of the spring and summer. The extended hours of “virtual connection” will remain in place until the end of May, which also happens to be the timeline of the NCAA’s ban on face-to-face recruiting as well.
As we get deeper and deeper into the new normal of dealing with the global pandemic, it’s possible both legislative adjustments get pushed back even further on the calendar. Until then, coaches now have a new set of parameters in which to get their work done with players far, far away from any actual football field.