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Hurricane stokes talk of extending college football season

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Hurricane stokes talk of extending college football season


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15 Sep 2018, 00:03 IST

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With a watch towards participant protection and scheduling flexibility, the NCAA remaining yr regarded as techniques to elongate the college football season so each and every workforce would have 14 weeks to play 12 video games yearly.

It did not come to go.

The matter popped up once more this week as Hurricane Florence brought on the cancellation, postponement or relocation of greater than a dozen video games, simply two weeks after two different video games had been referred to as off as a result of of lightning within the Midwest.

An extended season with extra open dates would build up the possibilities of rescheduling video games impacted via climate.

But problems that saved coaches from supporting an everlasting 14-week season — basically, having to start out preseason camp in July — are nonetheless an element and unpredictable climate isn’t most probably a large sufficient headache to modify issues.

“Every year this is going to happen a couple times,” mentioned Jon Nese, a meteorologist for Penn State and a former typhoon analyst for The Weather Channel. “It doesn’t leap off the page to me as something that is a primary discussion item.”

This season, for the primary time, each and every Football Bowl Subdivision convention will play a convention championship recreation at the first Saturday in December.

With that during thoughts, the NCAA oversight committee in 2017 did a deep dive on what it could take to permit groups to have two open dates each and every season.

“Aspirationally, what we wanted to do was build in some recovery time for the players during the course of the season and try and do it in a way that was equitable,” mentioned Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby, the previous chairman of the oversight committee. “In the end, the 14-week season with the two byes just wasn’t going to work from a practical standpoint so we moved away from it.”

The downside: There used to be no excellent approach to compress preseason observe into August. When the NCAA eradicated two-a-day practices, a long-time staple of preseason football, it additionally reduce down the quantity of overall practices allowed from 29 to 25. That means groups may just proceed to start out observe in early August and provides gamers the desired quantity of time without work.

To play video games the week prior to Labor Day weekend and nonetheless paintings in 25 practices, groups must get started working towards in July. Bowlsby mentioned some 14-week time table situations had groups opening observe as early as July 20, even prior to some gamers could be completed with classes they ceaselessly take to lighten the instructional load throughout the season.

“For some universities it was actually before their summer school classes were over,” Bowlsby mentioned.

Todd Berry, the manager director of the American Football Coaches Association, mentioned coaches had been all in favour of preseason practices bumping into media day tasks in July in addition to camps for highschool gamers which might be normally held the remaining week of the month. And whilst the intent at the back of a 14-week season used to be to create extra open dates, it additionally opened the likelihood of including every other regular-season recreation down the street.

“Our coaches were stressed out about that,” Berry mentioned.

An answer may well be additional reducing the quantity of preseason practices to about 20.

“Our group went to 25 and felt like that was the minimal amount,” Berry mentioned. “Just getting people’s bodies ready to make safe tackles and safe blocks takes some time.”

Creating area to reschedule video games that would possibly get postponed via probably unhealthy climate, a job this is close to unattainable now, by no means got here up within the 14-week season dialogue, Bowlsby mentioned.

Last yr, hurricanes Harvey and Irma led to cancellations and rescheduling in college football. Hurricane Matthew disrupted the 2016 season. But meteorologists warning about seeing this spate of storms as a development.

“You’d have to take a look at a really large range of time to really start to pick up on any patterns or correlations,” mentioned Lara Pagano, a meteorologist with the Weather Prediction Center of the National Weather Service. “So at this point we really can’t say one way or another, but I’m sure a lot of researchers and climatologists will be taking a look at that over the years to come.”

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Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and concentrate at https://www.podcastone.com/AP-Top-25-College-Football-Podcast

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