The NCAA paved the way for schools to provide more online instruction time to student-athletes.
The Division I Council Coordination Committee announced Thursday that teams would be allowed, starting Monday, eight hours per week of online, nonphysical instructions for activities like team meetings and chalk-talk sessions.
Football teams like Nebraska had already been engaging in such communications as allowed by their respective conferences after the coronavirus pandemic became widespread in the U.S.
The NCAA ruling formalizes a plan for all sports, and in some cases allows for more instruction time. The new allowance runs through May 31.
The Husker football team has been conducting daily online playbook sessions via Zoom that include incoming freshmen.
“I like it just for the fact that I’m learning a lot about the terminology before I get there,” said Nash Hutmacher, an NU signee from Chamberlain, South Dakota.
The NCAA mandated that the eight hours must come with at least one day off during the week for student-athletes.
“This change not only allows coaches to continue to educate their student-athletes but also fosters the connectivity that comes with team-based activities,” said Penn Athletic Director M. Grace Calhoun, who chairs the council. “Regular, individual check-ins between student-athletes and coaches remain permissible and are encouraged.”
Organized physical workouts, such as practices, are not allowed by the NCAA, which deemed all sports “out of season” after canceling the spring season.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said he wasn’t sure when sports could return with or without fans, though the ultimate authority may lie with leagues themselves.