Kirk Ferentz on two-a-days ban: 'Players are not in favor of it'

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Thursday April 20, 2017

Kirk Ferentz doesn’t like the NCAA’s ban on two-a-days, but it’s not because two-a-days are a common occurrence.

The new NCAA rule allows for a 3-hour contact practice and a walk-through that can’t include contact nor conditioning. Because of the ban, fall camp can open a week earlier. But Ferentz says that takes more free days away from players.

“When we talk about making the calendar better for our student-athletes, we've taken their Thanksgiving break away. That's not coming back,” Ferentz said. “I understand that. We've all made that adjustment.

But now we're going to lengthen the time they're in camp and shorten the break in between the summer conditioning and practice time. I just don't feel it's necessary.”

The rule came as a result of a recommendation by several medical science groups, which noted the most common period for injury is fall camp.

Ferentz said Iowa only had four two-a-days anyway last year. Many schools have already stopped them, and contact continues to be lessened in camp because of those injury concerns. Ferentz believes his players don’t like what the new rule does to their schedule.

“Apparently, some of our players have talked to players at other schools, very prominent schools. The players are not in favor of it,” he said. “I can tell you that right now, an informal survey of our veteran guys, they actually prefer the two-a-days because they're shorter times on the field. We're on the field, we're off the field, they go back and rest and it's the same thing.”

As for the work on the field, Ferentz said he would have preferred shortening the time periods on the field, but allowing more work in the walk-through.

“You could be on the field conceivably three hours during the contact period and then another two hours in walk through. And I can tell you, I've never participated in two-hour walk through and don't plan to in my lifetime,” he said. “It's like the Burma Road right there. So you're talking about five hours potentially on the field, and we've never done that ever.

“To me, it would have been simpler saying two-and-a-half hours of contact practice and then an hour, hour-and-a-half for walk through or non-contact practice, which would still allow you to have timing and do some things without putting players at risk.”

Ferentz felt the two-a-day ban was determined by people outside of football and wished there was more dialogue over how to make a change fit. But the rule’s the rule, and he’ll go by it.

“I'm not sure it's necessary. I think there are other ways we could have maybe addressed this without altering the calendar,” Ferentz said. “First and foremost, it's the player's schedule being interrupted. Or more time in summer school and practice. Like that's just kind of silly.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to