Next challenge for Buckeyes: Maximizing 12-hour work weeks

On3 imageby:Spencer Holbrook08/20/20


Ryan Day by Birm-Lettermen Row
Ohio State coach Ryan Day and the Buckeyes are back in College Football Playoff contention. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

COLUMBUS — Ryan Day and the Ohio State staff are creating workouts for every player on their roster.

After the cancelation of the Big Ten football season by presidents and the commissioner last week, Day, Mickey Marotti and the Buckeyes went to work, finding the best workout program for each player, individualized for their needs.

But they might not have as much time to do it each week as they envisioned.

“This fall for us, each guy is going to have an individualized plan on how we’re going to improve them,” Day said last week. “We have such a range of different guys in the program. There are some guys who are in their last year and looking to play in the spring and then go into the NFL Draft. There are other guys who just got into the program and really haven’t had a spring ball and need development.

“Each guy is going to have an individualized plan on how they’re going to get better and improve their skills.”

Now, the NCAA has spoken. Each player only gets 12 hours per week to work on that plan put forth by the Ohio State staff.

The NCAA Division I Council passed the Football Oversight Committee’s recommendation on fall practice for teams who won’t be playing this fall. Ohio State, Big Ten schools and other football programs who aren’t on the field this fall are permitted 12 hours of meetings, practice and workouts per week.

So while the Southeast Conference, the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big 12 all can fully practice mid-season this fall, the Big Ten and Pac-12 can only practice and work out for a fraction of the hours.

Big Ten coaches don’t like the sound or idea of that.

James Franklin-Penn State-Ohio State-Ohio State football-Buckeyes

James Franklin has been outspoken about the Big Ten’s lack of communication. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

“I don’t agree at all with the 12 hours,” Penn State coach James Franklin said Wednesday on a video conference with reporters. “That makes no sense that other teams are going to be having a season, and we’re only going to get to work with our guys for 12 hours.

“You’ve got voting from basically all the different conferences, and right now, the only people voting in the best interests of the Big Ten are the people from the Big Ten.”

The Big Ten is creating a task force for return to play, which the Buckeyes are hoping results in a season that starts in January. That’ll hardly be a consolation for missing the fall season, but it has to be the focus after league commissioner Kevin Warren put any wild rumors of a fall season to bed. The planning for a makeshift season is already in the works and being discussed.

A fall season isn’t happening. So the attention of the league is forced to shift to offseason workouts, which are now limited by the NCAA. Is it fair for different conferences to have different practice rules? Certainly not. But the Buckeyes — and the rest of the league — are going to have to play the hand they’ve been dealt.

And they’re going to need to make great use of the 12 hours they get each week.

“We’re talking about a bunch of different things right now,” Day said. “We’re just going to keep pounding away at this thing.”

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