Report: 'Significant changes' coming to college football fall camp practices after concussion study
Big changes are reportedly coming to the fall camp portion of the college football season.
According to Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated, per sources, the NCAA’s Football Oversight Committee is exploring ways to make fall camp safer. This follows a five-year concussion study that was released earlier this year.
Dellenger’s report states that committee members are considering “a reduction of full-padded camp practices (from 21 to eight), the complete abolishment of collision exercises (such as the “Oklahoma” drill) and limiting a team to two scrimmages per camp (lowered from three and a half).”
Under the new working model discussed in Dellenger’s report, camps would be 9-8-8: nine padless practices, eight practices in shells (helmets and shoulder pads) and eight practices in full pads with full contact. Those full=pad practices could not be held with more than two in a row. Other changes would include a set a maximum of 90 minutes of full tackling in any one single padded practice.
The study, released in February, was funded by the NCAA and the Department of Defense. Per SI, the study tracked head exposures in six DI college football teams from 2015 to ’19, finding that 72 percent of concussions occurred during practice and nearly 50% happened in preseason practice. The study involved more than 650 players from Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Wisconsin, UCLA, Air Force and Army.
Fall camp has undergone two recent changes. In 2017, the NCAA ended two-a-day practices. The following year, practices were reduced from 29 to 25.
Shane Lyons, West Virginia athletic director and FOC chair, told Dellenger that the committee is in a crunch to make changes for August camp this season but modifications could be made for 2022.
“Is it going to be the perfect model? No,” Lyons says, “but it’s not the end all be all. We’re in a short time frame here to make these changes. Does the camp in 2022 look different? It could.”
More details can be found in Dellenger’s full report here.