There is no promise of the 2020 college football season starting on time, but Wednesday afternoon marked a significant step forward.
The NCAA’s Division I Council has approved a six-week ramp-up plan for college football, which takes into account mandatory summer activities on campuses, as well as the start of training camp. The plan assumes COVID-19 local and state health policies are being considered at the institutional level.
Finalized on June 11 by the Division I Football Oversight Committee, of which University of Utah athletic director Mark Harlan is a member, the plan also assumes a Labor Day Weekend start to the season. Utah and BYU are slated to play Sept. 3 at Rice-Eccles Stadium, while Utah State will host Washington State two days later in Logan.
“The path is now understood for what an on-time start to the football season will look like, and some definition around summer access for football and men’s and women’s basketball,” Harlan said in a statement. “This is an important step and an exciting development for our student-athletes and coaches. We have our first group beginning voluntary workouts this week, with more on track to join them the next two weeks in Phase I. It’s a positive step and we will continue to work diligently to provide the safest environment possible for our student-athletes.”
With a Sept. 5 start, which most of the country is scheduled for, schools may mandate up to eight hours of weight training, conditioning and film review from July 13-23. From July 24-Aug. 6, countable athletic-related activities can go to 20 hours and can begin including meetings and walkthroughs with a football. Training camp can then begin 29 days before a team’s season-opener.
For a Sept. 3 opener, all of those dates back up by two days. For the 10 FBS teams slated to play Week Zero games on Aug. 29, the aforementioned dates back up by seven days.
Utah, BYU and Utah State have all begun bringing back student-athletes for voluntary workouts. The Utes are using a tiered approach, with in-state returners back this week and out-of-state returners coming back next week.
TRAINING, PRACTICE SCHEDULES FOR UTES, COUGARS, AGGIES
UTAH and BYU
Summer access: July 11
Summer access (w/walkthroughs and meetings) July 22
Camp opens: Aug. 5
Opener, vs. each other: Sept. 3
Summer access: July 13
Summer access (w/walkthroughs and meetings): July 24
Camp opens: Aug. 7
Opener, vs. Washington State: Sept. 5
Basketball summer activities, official practice start date set
The Division I Council on Wednesday also approved recommendations for summer athletic activities for men’s and women’s basketball.
Based on recommendations from the Division I Men’s Basketball Oversight and Women’s Basketball Oversight Committees, July 1-19 will mark a period of voluntary activity.
Required summer activities with coaching staffs involved can begin on July 20 and last up to eight weeks until the first day of school or Sept. 15, whichever comes first. The fall semester at Utah is scheduled to begin Aug. 24.
Official practice, as usual, can begin 42 days before the regular-season opener. In the Utes’ case, a Nov. 10 opener against Utah Valley means practice can begin on Sept. 29.