College football preseason schedule set, NCAA approves 6-week practice plan

Steven Colquitt / UGA Sports

ATHENS — Georgia football coach Kirby Smart will be back supervising his players on July 15 after the NCAA Division I Council approved a six-week practice plan on Wednesday.

The Bulldogs open the season on Monday, Sept. 7 against Virginia in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

UGA’s start date for the six-week plan is two days later than the calendar model (below) reflects.  That is because the Bulldogs and Cavaliers play on a Monday night — two days later than the traditional Saturday game day.

NCAA Football Oversight Committee Offseason Schedule (for teams with Sept. 5 start date).

Georgia players have been back on campus since early June, beginning their voluntary workouts in lockstep with other SEC schools on June 8.

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The Bulldogs’ strength and conditioning staff has overseen the workouts. The football coaching staffs are not allowed to supervise voluntary workouts or monitor results.

The six-week practice plan was designed and approved by the NCAA Football Oversight Committee last week.

• No more than one hour per day for walk-through, which may include the use of a football

• Up to one hour per day for meetings

“It’s really just more of an opportunity from an evaluation standpoint in terms of their conditioning, so we have this ramp-up going into preseason,” Todd Berry, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, told ESPN.

“And then secondarily, student-athletes and coaches are anxious to start talking some football, and we thought even from a psychological standpoint it would be very beneficial. The walk-throughs give an opportunity not to just get a visual but actually participate.”

The third period reflects the traditional timeline for preseason practices, which may begin 29 days before the respective team’s first contest. In Georgia’s case, that would be Aug. 9.

There is a five-day acclimation period (no pads), before the teams can be in full equipment working out.

Basketball plan

The Division I Council was also expected to approve a plan for men’s and women’s basketball. This plan would allow for “voluntary virtual nonphysical activities, enhanced in-person nonphysical activities, weight training and conditioning from July 1-19.”

The on-court activity would begin on July 20 and can last eight weeks until the first day of classes, or Sept. 15 —whichever comes first.

The skill instruction on the court can’t exceed more than four of the allowed eight hours of work per week, per the release detailing the NCAA oversight committee plans.

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