Big 12 announces new coronavirus rules that will allow coaches to hold virtual team, position meetings

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Big 12 coaches will be able to hold virtual team and position meetings for up to two hours a week, under new coronavirus rules announced by the conference Sunday.

All team organized activities had been suspended by the Big 12 through March 29 with the COVID-19 outbreak.

The current rules will be in effect until May 31 “or until additional guidance is provided,” the Big 12 said in a release.

In separate teleconferences this past weekend, Big 12 athletic directors and the conference board of directors discussed changes and relaxation of rules. The team and group meetings are in line with changes announced last week by the SEC allowing tools like Zoom for remote meetings.

Players will also be able to receive the same apparel and equipment that they normally would receive on-campus.

During an interview with Oklahoma City’s SportsTalk 1400 last week, Oklahoma football coach Lincoln Riley noted the difference between FBS conferences in the approach to rules during the pandemic.

“Our conference has been more stringent on it,” Riley said. “We’ve not been able to do virtual meetings. Our players have not been able to come into our weight rooms even on an individual basis. We haven’t been able to send them equipment, whereas a lot of other conferences like the ACC right now, they’ve been able to do all those things. That hasn’t been a positive.

“It’s not really been an equal playing field.”

Here’s the full announcement by the Big 12:

1) No organized, in-person team activities of any type, in any location.

2) No in-person, voluntary workouts, film study sessions, meetings, technique drills or captains’ practices/OTA sessions of any type, in any location until a permissible date is established by the NCAA.

3) Virtual or on-line supervised physical workouts and skill instruction, regardless of location, are not permitted.

4) All “virtual” group activities, including film study, are limited to two hours per week in all sports. Only countable coaches may conduct virtual film study, technical discussions, tactical sessions and other non-physical activities. These policies will be revisited and adjusted at regular intervals and as circumstances dictate.

5) Coaches can recommend written, self-directed workout plans provided they are approved in accordance with proper procedures as outlined by each institution’s appropriate sport performance, medical and/or athletic training personnel (and in accordance with the NCAA Recommendations on Preventing Catastrophic Injury and Death). Taped demonstration videos on respective workout plans are allowed in order to demonstrate proper form and technique. Institutional personnel may not supervise, conduct or monitor workouts on or off campus.

6) In-person, on campus meals and nutritional supplements may be provided in situations where student-athletes are unable to leave campus. Off-campus nutritional supplements are limited to the permissible items as outlined in NCAA Bylaw

7) It is fully permissible to provide non-athletically-related support to student-athletes including:

— sports medicine treatments, physical therapy and rehabilitation — academic support — mental health and wellness support

8) It is permissible for institutions to provide off-campus student-athletes with apparel and personal equipment that is regularly available to student-athletes when they are on campus for conditioning workouts. The provision of other equipment is not to extend to rental, purchase or arrangement of conditioning or strength training equipment or machines (e.g. stationary bicycles, treadmills, free weights, benches or weight machines) but is intended to allow for reasonable supplies such as stretching band/straps, foam rollers, etc.

9) Prospective student-athletes may not be involved in any capacity in any countable activities, including virtual activities.

10) The Big 12 Conference Board and Directors of Athletics will convene regularly to assess changing circumstances and to make shared decisions regarding amendments to the above-listed policies. The policies noted will commence at 7am CDT, Monday, March 30, 2020 and remain in effect until May 31, 2020 or until additional guidance is provided.

11) Decisions on the structure, schedule and components of training during the post pandemic period will be made as circumstances dictate.


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