Football teams across the SEC and throughout major college football will have fewer days of live-contact practices beginning this fall after a recommendation handed down on this week.
The Division I Football Oversight Committee recommended that Football Bowl Subdivision teams be allowed one day of live-practices per week beginning six days before the first game of each team’s season. A live-contact practice is one in which players are able to tackle and bring teammates to the ground or one that involves full-speed blocking. Teams are currently allowed two such practices per week.
This new rule will not affect those players who did not play in the previous week’s game. Those players will still be allowed two live-practice sessions per week to work on skill development and technique. Greg Johnson wrote the story about the changes at NCAA.com and explained the motivation for the change this way:
“The committee made the recommendation in an effort to improve player safety, believing it could decrease athlete exposure to concussion, including repeat concussion and overall head impact exposure. Data indicate that football players are more frequently diagnosed with sport-related concussion on days with an increase in frequency and higher magnitude of head impact.”
Teams will still be able to hit each other during practices in what are called ‘thud’ sessions and defenders can also wrap up offensive players as long as they do not bring them to the ground.