NCAA committee to look at support staff sizes, redshirt rules, season length

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Friday June 30, 2017


The NCAA is about to take a look at several big issues in college football.

The Division I Football Oversight Committee announced Friday it will examine issues such as support staff sizes, an extended season and redshirt rules. A lot of this involves seeking feedback before making recommendations.

Among the specific topics they’ll look at:

- A 14-week playing season.

Currently, teams typically only get one bye week, and multiple schools play 12 straight regular season games. By adding another week on the front end, it would give teams two bye weeks. But that would also push preseason camp up, which was already pushed up this year with the removal of two-a-days.

“A variety of different models will be looked at,” Big 12 commissioner and committee chair Bob Bowlsby said in a release. “We think there are some ways that the beginning of preseason practice can be kept in August and still meet the appropriate safety considerations.”

- The AFCA’s redshirt idea — that a player could play multiple games and not lose a year of eligibility.

The AFCA’s idea included playing any four games without losing a year. Currently, any playing time counts as a year of eligibility, unless there’s a retroactive medical redshirt if they meet certain criteria. Frequently, players lose a year without playing much at all.

“When that happens, it is unfortunate,” Bowlsby said. “We are going to look at it. There could be other implications that we need to take into consideration.”

- The state of support staffs.

As support staffs explode in size, some coaches call for a limit, while others say they’re providing opportunities. There’s the possibility that labor laws could come into play, and the committee was limited in details in the release.

“To improve their understanding of staff size, the Division I Football Oversight Committee surveyed the membership, asking for information regarding the number of people at football programs across the country and the roles they play, including positions such as strength and conditioning, quality control, analysts and operational and administrative positions,” the release reads.

“A working group of oversight committee members will continue to review the issue this summer and present their recommendations to the oversight committee that reconvenes Oct. 2-3.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 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 chris@coachingsearch.com.