Interesting stuff from the Pac-12 Conference today, as it has announced that it is instituting a comprehensive “Student-Athlete Health and Well-Being Initiative.”
Included in that — and the aspect of this that will get the most scrutiny — is a review of the amount of contact in football practices. (Here’s the full release with details):
Here’s what today’s press release says on that topic:
Football Contact Reduction: The Pac-12 will codify into a formal policy the existing practices across the Conference as they relate to limiting contact in football practice. The final policy will be released at Pac-12 Football Media Day on July 26. Going forward, the Pac-12 will look at guidelines around contact in practice to ensure that student-athlete well-being is being closely monitored, both in the amount of contact and in providing our student-athletes and coaches with ample opportunity to teach and learn the correct tackling methods during the spring and preseason.
“Pac-12 institutions house the leading medical trainer Important to notes, doctors, and scientists working to enhance student-athlete health and well being,” said Pac-12 Commissioner, Larry Scott. “Our athletic departments and coaches have been very progressive in this area and are deeply committed to advancing these efforts,” he added. “This initiative seizes on our opportunity to embrace, support, and coordinate all these efforts and build a framework to advance them with new resources, expertise and funding.”
Important to note that the policy is not final yet — probably best to wait until it is to fully weigh in on what it will meant. Certainly, limiting contact in practices has been the direction of many college teams for quite a while now, and I know UW coach Steve Sarkisian is among those who generally would rather err on the side of keeping his players healthy versus just letting them hit every day.
No doubt, it will be interesting to see how this unfolds, and what impact it has.