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Notre Dame Football

No Fall Camp for Notre Dame?

June 11, 2020

A few weeks ago we learned about changes to Notre Dame’s academic calendar. When that came out, I wrote about the potential challenges it could present for Notre Dame football.

Now that we have seen the NCAA lay out some practice guidelines for the summer, we have a clearer picture of those challenges.

Yahoo’s Pete Thamel reported these specific dates as presented by the NCAA’s Football Oversight Committee (that are expected to be approved next week):

Schools can begin to have access to their players on July 13, which would include strength workouts and coaches engaging in film study with their players. (It would be a week earlier for teams involved in Week 0, as they’ve been told they can start July 6.) According to the language discussed on the football oversight call, summer access “may begin 25 calendar days prior to the first permissible preseason practice date.”
Those eight-hour weeks would transition to a pair of 20-hour weeks on July 24, which have been added in part as a safety measure to help get players physically prepared for the season. These have been discussed by the group as being comparable to NFL OTAs, as they’d include walkthroughs and a ball.
This would lead to the training camp starting date on Aug. 7.

Let’s get this out of the way first to avoid any confusion. Notre Dame will be holding “voluntary” workouts starting when the players are back on campus and cleared. Players are expected to be on campus next week and back working out by June 22. Things will already be up running before that July 6th or July 13th date, but the film study part with the coaches can begin then.

It’s absolutely critical that the NCAA is planning to allow 20-hour work weeks starting July 24 because of Notre Dame’s academic calendar. This will be a heavy install period for all players and very important for freshmen like Chris Tyree, Michael Mayer, and Jordan Johnson. They are all not expected to redshirt this season, but reporting later makes things more difficult.

There will be a lot of important learning for them at the end of July. The graduate transfers will have take on a lot during that time as well.

Then comes the big issue for Notre Dame: camp not being allowed to start until August 7. Classes start on August 10.

This would essentially mean there will be no fall camp for Notre Dame. They may take advantage of that weekend with a mini version of camp, but they are going into season mode starting the next week.

Players will have to adjust to class schedules while preparing for the season. Fall camp has changed a lot in recent years and the amount of practice time shouldn’t be drastically different when classes start. What will be different is the time dedicated to meetings, which is equally as important as practice time in terms of reviewing and learning technique, assignments, and schemes.

The bonding part of camp is often overrated, a lot of this already happens during workouts in the summer, but the learning part is not talked about enough.

The two weeks before August 7 may be the most important part of the pre-season for Notre Dame. A lot of information will have to be absorbed then to help with the adjustment of not having a fall camp.

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