The Southeastern Conference announced a cautious return-to-practice calendar for the 2020 football season, with full practices not set to begin until Monday, Aug. 17.
The new SEC calendar provides student-athletes with more days off than required by the NCAA and fewer practices than permitted by current NCAA rules.
The new calendar provides flexibility as needed for COVID-19 issues as well as alleviating some mental fatigue for players who have been on campus since voluntary workouts began in June.
The new preseason calendar was developed based on recommendations of the SEC’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force.
Last week the SEC announced its intention to begin the 2020 season on Sept. 26 as it continues to monitor developments around COVID-19. The original start date of Sept. 5 would have allowed for preseason football practice to begin Aug. 7.
In the revised SEC play, from Aug. 7-16 schools are permitted to conduct up to 14 hours per week of strength and conditioning, meetings and walkthroughs.
Beginning Aug. 17 and until the opening game, schools are allowed 25 practices with a limit of 20 hours per week of practice time. A five-day acclimatization period is required, with two days in helmets only, two days in shells and the fifth day in full pads.
Schools will be required to provide student-athletes a minimum of two days off each week until the week before the first game of the season.
Anticipation continues for the release of a full 2020 schedule. That information may come in two parts: first, an announcement of the two additional opponents for each school, followed by a subsequent release of a week-by-week schedule.
Reach Cecil Hurt at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @cecilhurt