WATCH: Georgia football returns, what start of voluntary workouts mean
ATHENS — Football is back at the University of Georgia — sort of.
The Georgia football social media accounts released a video that’s sure to get the blood pumping in Bulldogs’ fans.
— Georgia Football (@GeorgiaFootball) June 7, 2020
The Georgia football players officially began the start of voluntary workouts on Monday (June 8), but it’s important to note that’s different than the start of football practices.
Here are some commonly asked questions and answers about what players and coaches can and cannot do, and what is going on inside the indoor football facility and on the practice fields behind Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall:
Will the players be tested for COVID-19?
Georgia tested all of the student-athletes for COVID-19 before the voluntary workouts got underway.
UGA has a COVID-19 protocol that included screening some players before they returned to campus, and ensuring the safest training environment possible.
Coach Kirby Smart said on a conference call the team would be divided into groups of 20, and then subdivided into workout groups of 7, and file through the weight room and indoor football facility. One door in, one door out — with cleaning crews scouring the workout areas between groups.
The NCAA stipulates schools cannot publicize the voluntary workouts, nor can media have any access to share pictures or reports of the workouts with fans.
Can Kirby Smart coach the players?
Smart and his football coaching staff cannot oversee the football workouts or evaluate the players workout results.
Strength and conditioning coach Scott Sinclair and his staff will oversee the workouts.
Sinclair has an idea of the weights and attributes Smart and his staff consider ideal for different position players, and the players are all aware of weight goals and the importance of proper conditioning and athletic performance in drill work.
The coaching staff can, however, continue to have 8 hours of virtual meetings with the players each week. The meetings are of the Zoom conference call nature, most often at the position group level.
When will football practices start?
That date has yet to be determined, but the NCAA oversight committee met last Thursday (June 4), and its recommendation for six weeks of preparation before the start of the season remains in place.
While the start of voluntary workouts have varied from conference to conference, and sometimes school to school within the conferences, there’s believed to be a handshake agreement among league commissioners that there will be a uniform start for the beginning of organized practices.
These “countable activities” — think, 15 spring football practice dates — are likely to start in the second or third week of July. The first two weeks of counted activity could be limited leading into the more traditional August football activity.
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