One year after the Pac-12 Conference instituted new limits on contact for football practices, the NCAA is recommending very similar policies for college programs across the nation.
While the NCAA stopped short of changing its rules governing contact in football practices, it issued guidelines calling for no more than two contact practices per week during the season and postseason, no more than four contact practices a week during the preseason and no more than eight of the 15 practices in spring ball to feature contact.
The guidelines came out of discussions at a safety and concussion summit in January in Atlanta and included coaches, the College Athletic Trainers Society and several medical organizations. The guidelines either match current NCAA rules or are slightly stricter.
The Pac-12 already adopted the same limits on hitting in practice in July 2013 and Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre said at that time he had no problem with the new limits because he was already practicing at those or even lesser levels of hitting during his time as a head coach. MacIntyre is entering his second season as head coach of the Buffaloes and his fifth season as a head coach overall this fall.
The Pac-12 was the only major conference in college football to move to more stringent contact policies than the NCAA allows last year. It remains to be seen if more conferences will make the change now that the NCAA has made its recommendations for the coming season.
The NCAA also recommended schools provide independent doctors to evaluate players with possible concussions and that the schools formulate plans for helping those athletes who do suffer concussions a plan for returning to their studies. It is often difficult for concussion victims to concentrate or perform tasks such as reading at length.
Colorado sports information director Dave Plati said the NCAA recommendations are the same as CU and Pac-12 standards. Plati could not confirm Monday afternoon if CU uses an independent doctor or if it has a program in place to help concussion victims return to their studies after the injury.
Learning from Manning
Colorado quarterback Sefo Liufau gets a huge opportunity to learn from Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and others later this week when he will participate in the Manning Passing Academy at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La.
But Liufau isn't the only Pac-12 signal caller to be invited to the camp this year. The CU defense will have to face five quarterbacks this season that are scheduled to join Liufau for the camp.
UCLA's Brett Hundley, USC's Cody Kessler, Oregon's Marcus Mariota, Oregon State's Sean Mannion and Colorado State's Garrett Grayson are also poised to learn from the Manning family and other mentors Thursday through Sunday.
Nine Pac-12 programs had at least one player nominated for the Maxwell Award on Monday when the preseason watch list for the honor was released. Colorado, Washington State and Washington were the only Pac-12 programs without a player nominated for the "College Player of the Year" award. The Pac-12 also had 13 players nominated for the Chuck Bednarik Award given annually to the nation's best defender. CU also did not have a player make that list.