If the Texas Tech football team does not get to resume spring practices, it could have a negative impact on the 2020 team in a number of ways.
Though it will not receive the same type of publicity as the NCAA Tournament or the College World Series cancellations, one of the biggest college sports casualties of the coronavirus might end up being spring football. And should programs around the nation lose those extra practice sessions, the Texas Tech football team will be impacted in a number of ways.
When asked if he thought that there was a possibility of holding the missed spring practices in the summer, Wells said that he thought such a petition to the NCAA would have to come from the American Football Coaches Association.
“We haven’t had those discussions yet,” Wells said on March 17. “I would assume that that would absolutely be options on the table for them to look at and consider. You’re going to have to consider, do you extend training camp a little bit or do you give us some days in July? We’ll see. I think all those options will be on the table.”
Regardless of how the NCAA decides to proceed, there are drawbacks to either scenario. Having a full set of practices in the middle of the summer will interrupt the crucial summer conditioning program that helps prepare players for the physical demands of the upcoming season. What’s more, programs that do not have indoor practice facilities would have to figure out a way to work their practices around the summer heat, a huge consideration given the rise in high-profile heat-related injuries and deaths the sport of football has seen in the last decade.
Also, summer is a prime recruiting time for programs as coaches spend plenty of their summer on the road visiting targets and those efforts would be put on hold during summer practices. Speaking of assistant coaches, the summer is often the only time they get extended breaks away from football to spend with their families and that would also be disrupted in such a scenario.
But extending fall training camp would extend an already lengthy season. Additionally, every year players around the nation suffer injuries in spring practice and should those occur during an extended training camp, there would be far less time to recover before games begin. Also, there’s reason to wonder if returning to fall camp after an extended period of time away from the conditioning staff and training facilities on campus would leave the players more vulnerable to injury in the first place.
This is yet another area of the sports world that must be navigated as we wade through these uncharted waters and it has to make the common person glad that we aren’t part of the NCAA decision-making powers that be.
But what we know for certain is that Texas Tech needs all the developmental time it can get after a 4-8 season. So let’s take a look at how this program would be impacted if the missed spring practices are not able to be made up.