In an upcoming meeting (April 25th and 26th) the NCAA will meet to discuss the [likely] ratification of a proposal banning two-a-day practices for Division II football teams in the pre-season. This is considered “emergency legislation”, complying with health and safety recommendations. Student-athletes are more likely to suffer concussions and injury during the pre-season, and this legislation is set forth with the intent of protecting student-athletes from these injuries.
To ensure schools still have enough time to prepare their athletes for the season, the pre-season will begin three days earlier, on August 7 or seven days before the first day of classes; whichever comes first. This legislation would need to be ratified in 2018, but would be effective immediately until that point.
While this legislation intends to protect players, and even lighten the work load during the summer, there is no consensus, even among players, this legislation will accomplish what it hopes to. Speaking with football players and friends here at Central about the proposal, their answers paralleled each other. A singular concern among all was coaches would simply cram the same amount of practice of a typical two-a-day into a singular practice, increasing the number of hours in a row on the field, and potentially increasing the physical demand of summer football. All seemed to agree a typical two-a-day is actually easier than a one day due to the rest time available on two-a-days.
The NCAA has, through good intention, potentially increased the risk of injury and exhaustion among Division II football players. The problem was the long number of hours spent by players on the field in the summer, but rather than addressing the number of hours, the NCAA simply decreased the amount of rest time available. Having two, three, or four practices a day does not make the load any greater if the practice time remains the same. For the sake of consistency it is my hope the NCAA addresses the number of hours of practice available to teams per day in addition to the two-a-day ban.
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