NCAA D-I Council Approves 6-Week Football Practice Plan Ahead of 2020 Season

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJune 17, 2020

The College Football Championship Playoff logo is shown on the field at AT&T Stadium during the NCAA Cotton Bowl semi-final playoff football game between Clemson and Notre Dame on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Roger Steinman)
Roger Steinman/Associated Press

The NCAA moved one step closer to holding a 2020 football season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NCAA Division I Council announced Wednesday that it approved a practice plan that begins in July.

Heather Dinich of ESPN provided details on the six-week plan, noting the goal was to provide something of a unified plan in a sport that is so regionalized. Workouts can start July 13 for teams that play their first game on Labor Day weekend, while those who play their first game on Aug. 29 can start workouts on July 6.

Arizona, California, Hawaii, Marshall and UCLA are among those teams with openers scheduled on Aug. 29.

Those workouts, which were deemed as "enhanced summer access," will lead into the typical four-week preseason camp. The two weeks before the preseason camps will be for activities such as weight training, conditioning, film review, walkthroughs and meetings.

There are some restrictions, as players will be limited to 20 hours of athletics-related activities per week that includes up to one hour per day of walkthroughs in which players cannot wear helmets or pads but are allowed to use a football.

Shane Lyons, the West Virginia athletic director and chair of the Football Oversight Committee, said the NCAA waived the preseason limit of 110 athletes.

"It was a matter of getting everyone to be able to [shake] hands and say this was the best model we could all agree upon as we move forward," Lyons said. "... It wasn't something that was put together in a matter of a couple of meetings and thrown out there. There was a lot of discussion, and I think we landed in a very good spot."

While many professional sports, such as the NBA, MLB, NHL and MLS, were forced to suspend their seasons and the NCAA canceled all spring sports as well as the men's and women's basketball tournaments, college football has not been put into a position where it has had to adjust its schedule of games yet.