Power 5 conferences propose changes to time demands on players

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Thursday July 07, 2016

Photo credit: The Bradenton Herald

The Power 5 conferences have announced a proposal of changes in time demands for student athletes, which would require more time off.

Athlete time demands have been a popular topic over the past year, and the autonomous setup allows the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12 to propose joint changes on their own in certain areas.

“We believe we have found the right balance between helping students participate in sports while also providing them with more down time,” the commissioners said in a joint statement.  “Different sports have different demands and we think the concepts we’ve agreed to will help tens of thousands of students achieve more balance as they pursue their academic and athletic commitments.”

A formal proposal will come later and be voted upon at the NCAA convention in January 2017. These proposed changes include:

- Every student-athlete gets at least one day a week during the season free from athletic activities, and a travel day does not count as a day off. The travel day no longer counting is the change to the current rule.

- Student-athletes receive an additional 14 days off during the academic year, either in- or out-of-season. The current rule is two days per week outside of the season. This adds to that.

- No countable athletic-related activities in an 8-hour block between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. The current rule says no activities between midnight and 5 a.m. Under the new rule, a morning practice scheduled for 5:30 a.m. means athletes must finish by 9:30 p.m. the previous night.

- A 7-day recovery time free of athletic activities following the conclusion from the season.

Some of these changes are more notable than others. Aside from practices and games, media requirements and mandatory community service also fall under athletic-related activities.

“We heard from our students that they would like more certainty in their schedules in order to engage in other activities,” the commissioners said.  “We recognize there will need to be a level of flexibility and reasonableness in carrying out these changes, especially with regard to travel, but students deserve time off and we want athletic departments to work in a sensible and appropriate way to provide it. 

“We want administrators to have some degree of flexibility in implementing these rules, but they must be mindful that rest is important to a student’s health, in addition to their athletic and academic performance.”

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.