NCAA council approves preseason practice plan for football

The Wisconsin football team could begin required workouts in the middle of July.

That news comes after the NCAA Division I Council voted to approve a six-week preseason schedule for college football teams on Wednesday.

“This is the culmination of a significant amount of collaboration in our effort to find the best solution for Division I football institutions,” said Shane Lyons, chair of the Division I Football Oversight Committee that recommended the plan to the council. “Our student-athletes, conference commissioners, coaches and health and safety professionals helped mold the model we are proposing.”

The Badgers open the season Sept. 4 against Indiana at Camp Randall Stadium. Under the plan, Wisconsin would be able to require players to participate in up to eight hours of weight training, conditioning and film review per week starting as early as July 12 for a period of 10 days.

For the next two weeks, players would be required to participate in up to 20 hours of activities per week. Those activities include up to eight hours per week for weight training and conditioning, up to six hours per week for on-field walk-throughs, and up to six hours for meetings.

Then, as normal, the team can proceed into its 29-day preseason practice period prior to the first game. That would begin Aug. 6 for Wisconsin.

“Given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across the country, we believe this model provides institutions and their student-athletes flexibility to prepare for the upcoming season,” Lyons said.

Many Wisconsin players — 100 of a possible 123 — returned to campus last week before starting voluntary strength and conditioning workouts on Monday.