On Wednesday evening, the NCAA Division I Council approved a six-week practice period that will take place later this summer. This was something that we expected could be coming sometime this offseason around college football after a majority of the teams around the country were forced to cancel spring practice due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Inside Carolina, the first phase of this six-week workout period will begin on July 12th and last through July 22nd. This phase will be a time where players will put in eight combined hours in the weight room and film study in each of those two weeks. A maximum of two hours each week can be spent in the film room. During that time, the players will not be able to interact with the coaching staff.
After that, the team will enter into the second phase, a two-week period that will span from July 23rd to August 5th. During that time, the coaching staff will be able to interact with the players, as the team will spend six hours per week both on the field in walk-throughs and six hours in meetings. The other eight hours of each week will be spent in the strength and conditioning programs, adding up to a total of 20 hours of “countable athletically related activities.” This period will require each player to take at least two days off during the fourteen day phase.
Once the second phase is over, the expectation is that the Tar Heels will head straight into fall camp, which, as of right now, is expected to begin the day after the second phase concludes. As of right now, the fall camp schedule is still set to run its normal course leading up to the Tar Heels September 4th meeting with Central Florida to open the season.
This six-week workout period has some major effects on a few groups of players around the team. The return to campus is huge for all of the freshmen, who now have a chance to get on campus and add some weight while also gaining some familiarity with the playbook ahead of fall camp.
This period is also big for players at positions like backup quarterback and starting cornerback which will see important battles take place later in the summer. While you won’t be able to determine a whole lot during this time, this could give the staff something to go off of instead of having to go into fall camp completely neck-and-neck.
The group it will help the most, though, is the players that are in the midst of rehabbing from injury. Some of the guys haven’t quite had the access to the equipment necessary to continue their rigorous rehab during this time, but arriving back on campus will allow these guys to continue rehabbing the way they need to to get back full health.
Wednesday’s decision by the NCAA Division I Council is a huge step in the right direction towards having football this fall. There is still a chance that the season could eventually be delayed or postponed, but as of right now, all of the moves from the NCAA suggests they are doing everything they possibly can make this 2020 season happen in the fall.