Based on a tentative schedule that has surfaced, it looks like many SEC teams will make use of a new NCAA rule that allows for an extra week of preseason camp in the summer.
According to The Advocate reporter Ross Dellenger, over half of the SEC teams are starting preseason camp in July. Practices are beginning as soon as July 25 (Mississippi State) and as late as Aug. 3 (Alabama).
Here’s the complete tentative list of camp start dates for the SEC:
- Mississippi State: July 25
- Arkansas: July 27
- South Carolina: July 27
- Tennessee: July 29
- Kentucky: July 29
- Vanderbilt: July 31
- Georgia: July 31
- Auburn: July 31
- LSU: July 31
- Texas A&M: Aug. 1
- Missouri: Aug. 1
- Ole Miss: Aug. 2
- Florida: Aug. 2
- Alabama: Aug. 3
The teams that aren’t in favor of starting camp sooner cite a conflict between the classroom and the gridiron.
“As far as starting earlier, our coaches expressed concern about that when we met in Destin (for the SEC Spring Meeting), that they, as a group, are not looking to start earlier,” said William King, the SEC’s associate commissioner for legal affairs and compliance. “Their concern is that it interferes with the summer (school) and exams. It’s bringing everyone back, student-athletes and coaches, earlier than they’d like.
“The feedback has been similar from the student-athletes. They like, if they can, a break of some sort from the end of summer school and exams before they go into fall camp.”
Extending camp another week is a component of gaging the possibility of 14-week season that would provide two open dates with 12 regular-season games according to SEC commissioner Greg Sankey.
“We’re open to a 14-week season, but we want to be very careful about not moving the standard for football practice even earlier into the summer,” Sankey said.
The seven-day camp extension is currently on a trial basis.