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Here’s how college football is scheduled to return

The Football Oversight Committee has a plan, and if it passes, the Division I Council will also need to sign off.

Quarterback Justin Fields of the Ohio State Buckeyes scrambles with the football during the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl against the Clemson Tigers at State Farm Stadium on December 28, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

If all goes well, the recommendations of the NCAA Football Oversight Committee appear to be close to being set, and with the approval of the Division I Council, they’ll be the rules for practice and preseason ahead of the 2020 college football season.

Sports Illustrated got the drop on what’s exactly in the plan, and it looks like a slightly-condensed version of a normal college football offseason. Here’s the basics:

* From 25-15 days before the first allowed day of practice forward, student-athletes will have only eight hours of contact with coaches and strength staff. A maximum of two of those eight hours can be used for film study, but you can bet the strength coaches will likely end up with most or all of it.

(Here’s every college football player in D1: “Eight hours. Right. Sure. LOL.”)

* From 14-0 days before the first scheduled practice, the countable athletic related activities (CARA in industry-speak) rises to 20 hours a week. That keeps the eight hours from above, and adds six hours a week of walkthrough (ball permitted, no pads or helmets). Another six hours of film study goes here as well.

(Keep in mind CARA is notoriously fungible. If a baseball player competes in a doubleheader on the road, no matter where or how far they had to travel to get there, that’s considered only three hours. Doesn’t matter how long you actually play, or what time you leave or return, it’s three hours. A day-night volleyball doubleheader? Three hours. Seriously.)

* After that, you’re into a standard college football preseason camp. Teams can begin 29 days before their first scheduled game, the first five days are the “acclimatization period” (no two-a-days, three hour cap), a maximum of 25 on-field practices before kickoff, and at least one day a week off.

So it does look like the NCAA is going to let teams play college football this year without much change to the usual rules. 11 of 130 FBS teams are scheduled to take advantage of “Week 0” this year on August 29th because of the Hawai’i Rule, and the other 119 won’t play until sometime between September 3rd and 6th.

The question now is will the universities, and the governments that run them, allow college football to happen and start on-time?