The Southeastern Conference has recommended changes to the way football teams practice, but it’s unlikely to change much except scheduling for Kentucky.
On Friday, the league office announced that it will adopt the recommendations set forth by the NCAA Sports Science Institute that cuts out two-a-day practices and cuts down on live-contact practices during the regular season. The recommendations received unanimous support of the conference athletic directors and school administrators.
The NCAA Division I Council voted recently to restrict schools around the country from conducting multiple contact practices in the preseason. Most schools, including UK, will begin preseason practices one week earlier than usual to replace those two-a-day practices.
Knowing that these rulings likely were on the way, last season UK already had begun restructuring practices to include a reduction in live-contact practices.
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The biggest change on Kentucky’s side will be moving up the start of the preseason fall camp schedule a week or so, team spokesman Susan Lax said on Friday.
For instance, if fall camp normally was scheduled to begin on Aug. 4, it would begin in late July instead to make up for the practices lost with the elimination of two-a-days. Coach Mark Stoops has not set the fall camp schedule for Kentucky, which opens the season on Sept. 2 at Southern Miss.
In a release, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said the changes enhance the health and safety of players.
“As the NCAA Sports Science Institute has developed and provided guidance on the structure for football practice, everyone associated with this great sport must continue to adapt to keep the game safe while played at the highest competitive level,” he said.
▪ A complete listing of the year-round practice recommendations can be found here: http://www.ncaa.org/health-and-safety/year-round-football-practice-contact-recommendations