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NCAA Council formally approves six-week preseason model for football, which will begin July 13 for teams that start season Sept. 5

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The NCAA is proceeding with a significant step toward prepping for the 2020 college football season.

Earlier this month, it was confirmed that the NCAA Div. I Oversight Committee was crafting a plan that would shape the path college football programs would take to prepare for the upcoming season.  Last week, the NCAA announced that it has finalized its proposal for a preseason model for the sport.  However, the plan still needed the approval of the NCAA Division I Council.

Thursday, that expected thumbs-up came to fruition as the council has approved what will essentially be a six-week preseason for college football.  The NCAA writes that, “[a]ssuming a first game on Sept. 5, the model begins summer access activities July 13 and adds meetings and walk-throughs July 24.  Preseason practice begins Aug. 7.” Schools that open the seasoning Week 0 (Aug. 29), all of the dates would get seven days subtracted from them.  It’s unclear if teams whose first games are Sept. 3 will follow the Sept. 5 model or not.

The activities mentioned do not include the ongoing voluntary on-campus workouts.

As for the particulars?  The NCAA referred to its previous release as a guideline:

… student-athletes may be required to participate in up to eight hours of weight training, conditioning and film review per week (not more than two hours of film review per week) from July 13-23.

Then, from July 24 through Aug. 6, student-athletes may be required to participate in up to 20 hours of countable athletically related activities per week (not more than four hours per day) as follows:

— Up to eight hours per week for weight training and conditioning.
— Up to six hours per week for walk-throughs, which may include the use of a football.
— Up to six hours per week for meetings, which may include film review, team meetings, position meetings, one-on-one meetings, etc.
— During this 14-day period, student-athletes are required to get at least two days off.

The model does not make any adjustments to the legislated 29-day preseason practice period. In the previous example, the school’s preseason practice period would begin Aug. 7 with a five-day acclimatization period, followed by the opportunity for up to 25 on-field practices.

NCAA Oversight Committee crafting six-week practice period ahead of start of season

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The on-ramp to the 2020 college football season is coming into focus.

A significant milestone was reached last month when the NCAA announced it would allow member institutions to commence voluntary on-campus workouts June 1.  June 17, the NCAA Division I Council is expected to vote on a plan that would shape the path college football programs would take to prepare for the upcoming season.

That plan is currently being crafted by the NCAA’s Division I Football Oversight Committee. A draft of that group’s plan is expected to be finalized this Thursday, June 11.  The committee will then submit their plan to Div. I Council for approval.

As it stands now, ESPN.com is reporting, the committee is working on what would be a six-week run-up to the upcoming college football season.  For schools that begin the next campaign Labor Day weekend, the current proposal calls for mandatory workouts to commence July 13, followed by enhanced training July 24.  A standard summer camp would then kick off Aug. 7.  During the mandatory workouts and enhanced training, players will not be permitted to wear either helmets or pads,  They will, though, be permitted to use footballs.

Coaches, who, other than strength staff, can’t oversee the current voluntary workouts, would be permitted to take part throughout the entire six-week practice period being developed.

Of course, the schools scheduled to start the college football season the week before Labor Day — Notre Dame-Navy in Annapolis included — would see the three phases of the plan initiated earlier.  Whether it’s exactly a week earlier remains to be seen, although that would make the most sense.

As we stated earlier, the plan is still being crafted.  Therefore, it isn’t finalized.  In that vein, the first phase, the mandatory workouts, could be shortened.  From ESPN.com:

West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons, who is chair of the Football Oversight Committee, told ESPN’s Andrea Adelson that there is one area that might change between the proposed calendar and what gets approved on Thursday, and that is shortening the window between the start of required workouts on July 13 and the start of enhanced training on July 24.

“Some people are thinking the summer access is too long,” Lyons said, based on feedback the committee has already received. “There’s a concern by making that part a requirement, it extends it to too long a period and whether that should be adjusted to make it shorter. Instead of starting on the 13th, start on the 20th. I haven’t heard of all the concerns and that’s why it was put out to the conferences, to start getting more input.

Again, final approval from the Council is slated to be announced two weeks from Wednesday.  At that time, we’ll have a greater understanding as to exactly what the prep work for the upcoming college football season will entail.  Provided there is a 2020 college football season, of course.

Nebraska transfer DB and four-star 2020 signee Henry Gray commits to FIU

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A Nebraska loss is a win for the FIU football roster.  Unofficially, of course.

Henry Gray on Twitter in late May announced that he will be entering the transfer database.  That marked the defensive back’s first step in leaving Nebraska.  In the tweet, Gray cited an “unanticipated family situation” is the impetus for the potential move.

On the same social media service this weekend, Gray announced that he has committed to the FIU football team.  The Conference USA school, it should be noted, has not confirmed Gray’s addition to the squad.

Gray was a four-star member of the Nebraska football Class of 2020.  The Miami native was rated as the No. 27 safety in the country.  He was also the No. 43 recruit regardless of position in the state of Florida.  Something else? He was the second-highest-rated signee for the Cornhuskers.

Given the fact that he cited family issues in his departing tweet, it appears likely Gray will seek a waiver for immediate eligibility with the Panthers.

FIU is coming off a 6-7 2019 football campaign.  Included in that was an upset of Miami in late November 30-24, the Panthers’ first-ever win over the Hurricanes.

And the Panthers’ head coach? Former Hurricanes’ coach Butch Davis.

College Football Hall of Fame damaged amidst protests in Atlanta overnight

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In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, protests have erupted across the country.  Overnight, those protests hit the home for college football history.

A peaceful protest in Atlanta Friday turned violent later in the night as many numerous businesses in the city were vandalized and looted.  According to myriad media outlets, one of those that suffered damage was the College Football Hall of Fame.

Fortunately, one of the reports stated, “none of the artifacts or history memorabilia was damaged… just the glass in front of the store.” One report, though, described the hall as being “destroyed.”

“First and foremost, our hearts go out to the friends and family of George Floyd,” College Football Hall of Fame CEO Kimberly Beaudin said in a statement. “We support the peaceful protests that honor his memory but unfortunately they deteriorated into chaos and disorder. We are heartbroken to see the damage to our city and the Hall of Fame. As our Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said, we are better than this, better than this as a city, and better than this as a country.

“In the coming days and weeks, we’ll work to pick up the pieces, to build back the sacred walls that housed memories and honored those who played the game many of whom fought these same injustices throughout their storied careers.”

UConn announces future games vs. FIU, Temple and Wyoming

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UConn is, once again, getting its football independent schedule on.

This year alone, UConn announced future games against Power Five opponents in Ohio State (HERE), Syracuse (HERE), Michigan (HERE) and North Carolina (HERE).  For the game against the Buckeyes alone, the Huskies will pull in a cool $1.95 million.

Wednesday, UConn announced another batch of additions to its future football slates.  None of them, though, that claim Power Five membership.  In a release, the university confirmed that “[t]he UConn football team has entered into agreements to compete against Temple, Wyoming and Florida International in future years.”

The matchup with Wyoming will be a one-off affair.  And is one that came about because of the Clemson-Georgia game announced earlier this year.  Looking ahead, the Huskies and Cowboys will square off Sept.  25, 2021, at Pratt & Whitney Stadium in East Hartford, Conn.

As it pertains to FIU, those two schools agreed to a standard home-and-home series.  The first is scheduled for Oct. 8, 2022, in Miami. The return game is set for Oct. 14, 2023, in East Hartford.

The 2021 game vs Wyoming and the 2022 game vs. FIU?  That will mark the first time UConn has played either in football.

Temple, though, is another matter entirely when it comes to historical connections.

First, the latest.  The two Northeast programs have agreed to three future games.  Two of those will take place at the home of the Owls (Oct. 10, 2026; Sept. 30, 2028), one at the home of the Huskies (Sept. 4, 2017).

The schools first met in 1963.  As FBS programs, though, they’ve played 14 times.  That first meeting came in 2001, the last in 2019.  Temple leads the all-time series 9-5.  Included in that is five wins in the last six meetings.