A proposal to renew the 365-day college football calendar calls for leaders to study further to move the start of the regular season as well as the bowl season.
The proposed calendar, a collaboration between the FBS Ten Conferences and Notre Dame, would also create new dead periods, allow off-campus hiring for high school juniors, bring back the early signature date and provide more framework around recruiting transfers.
However, perhaps the most important element is the idea that officials need to “further explore potentially making Week 0 completely permissive,” the calendar notes. Under current rules, teams need a waiver to play a game during what’s called “week 0,” the weekend before the official season begins. In another proposed change, bowl games would be allowed to start on the second Saturday in December — a week earlier than usual.
The nine-page calendar is distributed around the sports sections for feedback and further examination. Sports Illustrated Obtain a copy of the document, which is merely a draft proposal and has not made its way through the NCAA legislative approvals process.
In fact, there are plenty of hurdles left before the calendar can be finalised, most notably cooperating with officials on the NCAA’s Football Oversight Committee, who themselves have been working on a separate hiring calendar. Administrators familiar with the discussions are warning that there may be changes to the 365-day calendar.
The most noticeable element of the calendar – opening week 0 for all schools – is not a new topic, but its inclusion in the proposal speaks to the serious nature of the possibility. Eleven matches involving FBS teams were played in Week 0 this year, including Northwestern beat Nebraska in Ireland. Week 0 play waivers are given for various reasons, most notably those teams playing in Hawaii, an incentive for programs to travel to such a remote location. If the exemption process is cancelled, teams can host recruits for home games played in Week 0, as per the calendar.
The move to convert week 0 to week 1 is a major talking point among conference delegates trying to solidify details about the expanded College Football Playoff Extension, something I mentioned SI in a story two weeks ago.
While opening the door for teams to have an extra farewell week, lifting the Week 0 waiver process could be the first step in a move to eventually turn into a full week of the regular season. The change will expand the narrow December window to play additional playoffs, easing a tight schedule that includes conference championship games, regular-season NFL games (some of which were played on Saturday), mid-year exams and graduations. earlier this month, SI examined six major issues in expanding the playoffsis no more important and complex than the calendar.
Moving the bowl games for a week is another sign of the eventual shift forward for the entire season. This year, the first bowl game is scheduled to kick off on December 16th. If the proposed calendar is implemented, the bowls could begin as soon as December 10, the date of the annual Army and Navy game. Moving up bowls provide a larger window to play the 42 bowls as well as additional supplement games.
But at the heart of the calendar is recruitment. In one of the biggest hiring changes, the calendar allows coaches to visit high school students off-campus. Under current rules, coaches cannot contact non-seniors off-campus.
Under the process of collaborating with the NCAA Football Monitoring Committee, this particular concept is under scrutiny. Officials are debating whether to keep the current rule and ban off-campus freshmen contact.
The document proposes modifications to other enlistment periods and enlistment rules in part in response to heavy traffic. In a recent policy change, athletes can now move once during their career and play immediately if they enter the transfer gate through two designated windows. The 45-day fall window begins on December 5. The 15-day spring window begins on May 1.
Other staffing changes include:
- The addition of the 48-hour dead period leading up to the fall transfer gate, which is scheduled for this year on November 27-28. The intent of the dead period is to allow the coaching staff to meet their current players before the gate opens. In a collaborative effort with the oversight committee, officials are discussing whether to extend this dead period from two days to more than a week.
- Move the beginning of the five-day early signing period to the third Monday in December. The document lists the first day of the period as December 19 this year and December 18 in 2023. The dates of the early signing period can be changed by the Commissioners of the First Division.
- Prohibit coaches visiting transfers on the campus of the player’s current school or in a residence where other members of the current transfer team reside.
- Add a dead enlistment period over Memorial Day weekend, May 27 to 31 next year.
In addition to those proposed changes, the document includes a note on “re-evaluating” the FBS rule-making process. Conference leaders want FBS officials to have “more power to modernize the college game” in terms of governance and rules of play, the document says. This comes on the heels of last week’s LEAD1 summit in Washington, DC, where nearly 100 FBS sports directors attended It has decided to keep its administration under the umbrella of the NCAA as long as it has more policy-making powers.
Reforming the college football calendar was an effort led by the ACC and Commissioner Jim Phillips, who was against expanding the college football interval before the calendar was completed. Each league assigned a representative to a working group that met during the spring and summer.
At a summit in mid-August in Dallas, the working group invited several football officials from the 10 leagues to review the calendar now being published across College Football. The implementation date on the calendar is November 2022 and runs through December 23. Officials say that schedule is subject to change. Commissioners are expected to discuss the calendar during next week’s meetings in Chicago.
The approval process begins with a recommendation from the working group to the NCAA Football Oversight Committee. The oversight will then recommend the changes to the NCAA DI Board for approval.
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