Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- The NCAA has released new guidelines that aim to limit the number of "contact" practices college football teams can have throughout the year, and both the head coach at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) and St. Scholastica embrace the idea.
The guidelines, which aim to reduce the number of sport-related concussions, call for teams to limit "contact" practices to four times a week during the preseason and two times a week during the regular season.
While the guidelines were just released on Monday, UMD head coach Curt Wiese says his program's practice plan won't have to change much because it has always taken steps to protect its players.
"Even throughout fall camp headed into the season and certainly through the season, we don't have a lot of contact," Wiese said. "You know, generally we aren't tackling people to the ground. For the most part, it's the mental part of the football game Monday through Friday, and then on Saturday afternoon, certainly there's going to be a lot of contact."
Across town, we have yet to see the first practice run by St. Scholastica's new head coach Kurt Ramler, but he says his previous experiences suggest you don't need excessive hitting in practice to find success as a team.
"I've got to give credit to John Gagliardi, the best coach in the history of college football," Ramler said. "We never hit in practice in my four years [as an assistant at St. John's,] and he's only the winningest coach in the history of college football. So there's a way to do it without hitting which doesn't cut in any way, shape, or form from your chance to win."
Though the NCAA has released these new guidelines, they are not yet legislated rules and college programs are still free to structure practices under existing parameters set forth by the NCAA.