In a teleconference with members of the Razorback media just prior to spring break at the school, Arkansas head football coach Sam Pittman indicated that the athletic department was working on a process to allow coaches to meet with each other from home. A week later we learned that when the SEC shut down athletics on March 13 no video conferencing of any type was allowed between coaches and athletes in order to avoid any competitive advantage some schools might gain. I can only assume that some SEC schools were more prepared for virtual meetings than others and time was needed in order get everybody up to speed while establishing guidelines for video conferencing.
Starting Monday March 30 that ban will be lifted with the following restrictions.
- Any required activity of this nature shall be limited to two (2) hours of activity per week in all sports, shall be scheduled in accordance with the institution’s established Time Management Policy, and shall not interfere with required class time for online instruction.
- These activities may not include a review by or live monitoring of film/video of a student-athlete engaging in workouts or physical activity occurring after March 13, 2020. Institutions may not suggest or require a student-athlete to make film/video of his/her workouts.
This would appear to be an important first step in allowing coaches to begin preparing their players for the 2020 season. Hopefully the two hours per week restriction will be quickly expanded. Virtual meetings would seem to be the perfect way to keep players on track without violating current social distancing directives. It is unclear how long those directives will remain in place but an orderly process, based on current data, would seem to be the right way to move forward.
With spring break ended the media has been informed that various Razorback athletes will be made available via teleconferencing in the coming days. It will give those of us who cover Hog athletics a chance to see how these virtual meetings are helping players in the absence of spring football which would normally be underway.
Amid claims by some that there will be no college football season in 2020 Arkansas athletics director Hunter Yurachek remains optimistic, posting this tweet on March 26: