The NCAA suggested Monday football teams hold no more than two contact practices per week during the season, and while it is an early step, it is certainly a positive one for the sport’s governing body.
While the concussion issue has the NFL under siege, the college game has not garnered the same type of pressures regarding player safety and head injuries. But following a concussion summit earlier this season, the NCAA is taking necessary action to protect its student-athletes.
What really stood out to me about the NCAA's suggestions was creating a return-to-learn plan for student-athletes who suffer a concussion to help ease them back into their classroom work. With the interest and money college football generates, the players’ duties in the classroom are often overlooked, and when a player suffers a concussion, the question is whether he will be healthy for the following weekend’s game.
"It's not only talking about the health and safety of the student-athletes," Dr. Brian Hainline, chief medical officer for the NCAA, told The Associated Press. "It's a concussion guideline where we're saying, 'Look, these kids are students first and we have to make certain that if they have a concussion, there's a good return-to-learn pathway for them.'"
During the season and spring practice, there are already enough hurdles keeping student-athletes from performing at 100 percent in the classroom, and a head injury could set student-athletes back days -- if not months. While the two contact practices a week will garner the most headlines to come from the NCAA's suggestions, the return-to-learn process will be one of the most beneficial potential changes for the well-being of student-athletes.
It is important to note these are NCAA suggestions rather than mandates.
Here a few other ACC-related links to get you through the afternoon.
A photo of the construction going at Virginia Tech as the school builds an indoor facility.
Syracuse is no longer with marketing giant IMG as it looks for a more lucrative deal.
Syracuse great Jim Brown says the 1964 championship ring that was auctioned off was stolen.
A preview of the Louisville game for Virginia fans.
Louisville is the flavor of the day -- a preview of the Louisville game for Clemson fans.
Tyler Boyd and James Conner represent Pittsburgh on the Maxwell Award Watch List, but they're focused on helping the Panthers win games, not awards.
Cole Stoudt is the second most important player for the Tigers this season.
Jameis Winston and Florida State are on college football preview magazines throughout the country.
Miami's 2015 recruiting class is stockpiled at running back, which could lead to at least one defection.