Jan 2, 2021; Glendale, AZ, USA; Detailed view of an Oregon Ducks logo on an official football on the field during the Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

NCAA Division I lowers limit on preseason contact practices

Preseason gridiron contact will be reduced after the Division I Football Oversight Committee enacted new limits Wednesday.

The number of contact practices was cut from 21 to 18, and only nine full-pad days will be permitted.

Teams won’t be allowed to hold full-contact practices on more than two days in a row. Each practice session is limited to only 75 minutes of full contact, while a limit of two preseason scrimmages was established.

The “acclimatization period,” previously five days, will increase to seven days.

In a rule change that will apply all year, not just in the preseason, the committee banned “drills that encourage or create straight-line contact.”

The NCAA Division I Council also announced Wednesday that it plans to plans to determine its course of action on players’ name, image and likeness as part of its June 22-23 meeting. The intent is to have a new policy in place before July 1, when various state laws on the subject will take effect.

The council also added new guidelines regarding transfer waivers for those student-athletes who weren’t permitted to use the current one-time transfer exception.

The new rules will start in January 2022, issuing waivers for student-athletes to be eligible for the 2022-23 season. Applicants making a second transfer would gain immediate eligibility if they can show they have an “education-impacting disability” or a “real and imminent health and safety” threat.

Jon Steinbrecher, commissioner of the Mid-American Conference and the chair of the NCAA Division I Council’s Working Group on Transfers, said in a statement, “These guidelines provide an opportunity for student-athletes with the greatest need to transfer and compete immediately. The delayed effective date is the fairest way to accommodate student-athletes who entered the Transfer Portal with the current waiver guidelines in place.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 1, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; A general view of the Rose Bowl game logo at midfield during the Rose Bowl between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NCAA D1 one-time transfer rule moves forward

The NCAA’s Division I Council officially approved a new one-time transfer rule Thursday, with the piece of legislation still needing to cross another hurdle before it is complete.

The Division I Board of Directors now must approve the plan when it meets on April 28.

If final approval is met, the new rule would be in place for the 2021-22 academic year.

“Allowing student-athletes a one-time opportunity to transfer and compete immediately provides a uniform, equitable and understandable approach that benefits all student-athletes,” council vice chair Jon Steinbrecher said in a release. “The decision is consistent with Division I’s goal of modernizing its rules to prioritize student-athlete opportunity and choice.”

Under the new rule, approval for all first-time transfers from four-year schools would be allowed provided they receive a transfer release from their previous school, leave their previous school academically eligible, maintain their academic progress at the new school and leave under no disciplinary suspension.

Previously, a player who transferred would have to sit out a year before participating in football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and men’s ice hockey, unless that player received a waiver from the NCAA.

Transferring between schools among student athletes was rampant even before the rule. There are currently more than 1,400 Division I men’s basketball players in the transfer portal.

“More than a third of all college students transfer at least once, and the Division I rule prohibiting immediate competition for students who play five sports hasn’t discouraged them from transferring,” working group chair Jon Steinbrecher, commissioner of the Mid-American Conference, said in a February. “This dynamic has strained the waiver process, which was designed to handle extenuating and extraordinary circumstances.”

Players who wish to transfer and be eligible for fall/winter sports of the following school year would have to enter the transfer portal by May 1. For spring sports athletes, there would be a July 1 deadline to enter the portal.

–Field Level Media

Mar 22, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; General view of the March madness logo during the game between the UCLA Bruins and the Abilene Christian Wildcats in the second round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Report: NCAA approves one-time transfer rule

The NCAA unanimously approved a rule that will allow student-athletes in all sports to be eligible immediately after their first transfer, The Athletic reported Wednesday.

In February, the NCAA revealed provisions for the new rule. Approval for all first-time transfers from four-year schools would be allowed provided they receive a transfer release from their previous school, leave their previous school academically eligible, maintain their academic progress at the new school and leave under no disciplinary suspension.

Previously, a player who transferred would have to sit out a year before participating in football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and men’s ice hockey, unless that player received a waiver from the NCAA.

Transferring between schools among student athletes was rampant even before the rule. There are currently more than 1,400 Division I men’s basketball players in the transfer portal.

The new transfer criteria is expected to be in place for the 2020-21 school year.

“The current system is unsustainable. Working group members believe it’s time to bring our transfer rules more in line with today’s college landscape,” working group chair Jon Steinbrecher, commissioner of the Mid-American Conference, said in a February news release. “This concept provides a uniform approach that is understandable, predictable and objective. Most importantly, it benefits students. …

“More than a third of all college students transfer at least once, and the Division I rule prohibiting immediate competition for students who play five sports hasn’t discouraged them from transferring. This dynamic has strained the waiver process, which was designed to handle extenuating and extraordinary circumstances.”

Players wishing to be eligible for fall/winter sports of the following school year would have to enter the transfer portal by May 1. For spring sports athletes, there would be a July 1 deadline to enter the portal.

The new rule is not expected to become official until the NCAA Division Council wraps up its meeting Thursday.

–Field Level Media

Nov 21, 2020; Charlottesville, Virginia, USA; Virginia Cavaliers wide receiver Lavel Davis Jr. (81) celebrates with Cavaliers offensive tackle Bobby Haskins (70) and Cavaliers tight end Grant Misch (85) after scoring a touchdown against the Abilene Christian Wildcats in the first quarter at Scott Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia looks for fourth straight win, hosts Boston College in ACC battle

With everything else turned completely upside-down in 2020, perhaps there’s no better time for Virginia to change its luck against Boston College.

The Cavaliers are 0-6 all-time against the Eagles heading into Saturday’s home finale in Charlottesville, Va., including an 0-2 record at home and an 0-4 mark since Boston College joined the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2005.

Virginia (4-4, 3-4 ACC) brings a three-game winning streak into this one but has only played twice since Halloween. Last Saturday’s game at Florida State was postponed just hours before kickoff due to COVID-19 concerns within the Seminoles’ program.

Boston College (6-4, 5-4) has alternated wins and losses over its last nine games and is coming off a 34-27 victory at home on Saturday against Louisville. This is the Eagles’ final game of the regular season, their first campaign under head coach Jeff Hafley.

Boston College lost starting quarterback Phil Jurkovec (left knee) and No. 1 running back David Bailey (upper body) to injuries in the win against the Cardinals, but both were listed atop the depth chart released this week.

“The quarterback is from my area, so I’ve been watching him a little bit,” said UVA linebacker and Pittsburgh native Zane Zandier, who ranks fifth in the ACC with 8.4 tackles per game.

“He’s been playing pretty well, so it’s been cool to see.”

A Notre Dame transfer, Jurkovec has completed 61.0 percent of his passes for 2,558 yards with 17 touchdowns and five interceptions in 10 games. Backup Dennis Grosel completed 4 of 7 passes for 44 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns in the win against Louisville.

“It’s kind of like riding a bike,” said Grosel, who started seven games in 2019. “I did it last year, so I hopped right on and held on for the ride.”

Whoever starts on Saturday will face a Virginia secondary that has been playing without starting safeties Joey Blount and Brenton Nelson since October due to injuries.

“It’s pending,” Cavaliers coach Bronco Mendenhall said when asked if either would return this season.

“Joey is closer than Brenton at this point, and so we remain hopeful, is the best way that I could put it.”

Virginia ranks last in the ACC in pass defense, allowing 289.0 yards per game through the air.

Blount and Nelson are part of the senior class that will be honored Saturday at Scott Stadium, where Virginia is 4-1 in 2020 and has won 16 of its last 18 games dating back to the start of the 2018 season.

A victory against the Cavaliers would give Boston College its sixth win in the ACC this season, tying a school record set back in 2007 when Matt Ryan was their quarterback.

Brennan Armstrong is the starting QB for Virginia. The redshirt sophomore has passed for 1,571 yards with 15 TDs and eight picks, and is also the team’s leading rusher with 399 yards and four scores.

“His confidence levels are through the roof,” Cavaliers guard Chris Glaser said.

“When you have a quarterback like that … you’re like, ‘Why wouldn’t I play my hardest for him? Why wouldn’t I do this and that?’ He’s a fun kid to play for and play with.”

–Field Level Media

Mar 29, 2019; Albany , NY, USA; General view of a NCAA logo prior to an Albany regional semifinal game of the women's 2019 NCAA Tournament between the UCLA Bruins and the UConn Huskies at the Times Union Center. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

NCAA grants fall athletes extra year of eligibility

Division I athletes on fall sports teams will receive an extra year of eligibility whether or not their program plays during the 2020-21 school year, the NCAA announced Friday.

The move comes in the wake of numerous conferences and universities canceling or postponing their fall sports slate due to the coronavirus pandemic, with some hoping to reschedule for the spring. The Big Ten and Pac-12 are among the leagues that won’t play football or other sports in the autumn.

The NCAA’s Division I Council recommended the concession of an additional year of eligibility for fall athletes earlier this week, and the Division I board of directors approved the proposal on Friday.

“All Fall sport student-athletes will receive both an additional year of eligibility and an additional year in which to complete it,” according to the NCAA. “Student-athletes who do not enroll full time during the 2020 fall term have flexibility in the progress-toward-degree requirements that must be met for eligibility in future terms.”

The Division I Council also announced its intention of “hosting scaled back fall championships in the spring. …

“Board members cautioned that fall championships should be played in the spring only if they can be conducted safely and in accordance with federal, state and local health guidelines. The board acknowledged that its action pertained to fall championships only and that the final decisions on bracket sizes and composition will be approved by the board.”

Acting board chair Denise Trauth, the president of Texas State, said in a statement, “We want to provide opportunities for student-athletes whenever possible. We understand it will be complicated and different, and we’re not certain how it will look. But we believe it’s important to try to give students that championship experience.”

The head of the NCAA Football Oversight Committee, West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons, favored the move to extend eligibility as a way to assist affected student-athletes.

“By providing clarity and removing that uncertainty from their minds is something that’s going to be very beneficial as we move forward,” Lyons said, according to ESPN. “Not having a normal season, not having that normal 20 games in soccer, or 28 matches in volleyball, and even football not sure what that season’s going to look like, that was the No. 1 concern that the student-athletes had, was the eligibility piece.”

–Field Level Media

Mar 29, 2019; Albany , NY, USA; General view of a NCAA logo prior to an Albany regional semifinal game of the women's 2019 NCAA Tournament between the UCLA Bruins and the UConn Huskies at the Times Union Center. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

NCAA grants fall athletes extra year of eligibility

Division I athletes on fall sports teams will receive an extra year of eligibility whether or not their program plays during the 2020-21 school year, the NCAA announced Friday.

The move comes in the wake of numerous conferences and universities canceling or postponing their fall sports slate due to the coronavirus pandemic, with some hoping to reschedule for the spring. The Big Ten and Pac-12 are among the leagues that won’t play football or other sports in the autumn.

The NCAA’s Division I Council recommended the concession of an additional year of eligibility for fall athletes earlier this week, and the Division I board of directors approved the proposal on Friday.

“All Fall sport student-athletes will receive both an additional year of eligibility and an additional year in which to complete it,” according to the NCAA. “Student-athletes who do not enroll full time during the 2020 fall term have flexibility in the progress-toward-degree requirements that must be met for eligibility in future terms.”

The Division I Council also announced its intention of “hosting scaled back fall championships in the spring. …

“Board members cautioned that fall championships should be played in the spring only if they can be conducted safely and in accordance with federal, state and local health guidelines. The board acknowledged that its action pertained to fall championships only and that the final decisions on bracket sizes and composition will be approved by the board.”

Acting board chair Denise Trauth, the president of Texas State, said in a statement, “We want to provide opportunities for student-athletes whenever possible. We understand it will be complicated and different, and we’re not certain how it will look. But we believe it’s important to try to give students that championship experience.”

The head of the NCAA Football Oversight Committee, West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons, favored the move to extend eligibility as a way to assist affected student-athletes.

“By providing clarity and removing that uncertainty from their minds is something that’s going to be very beneficial as we move forward,” Lyons said, according to ESPN. “Not having a normal season, not having that normal 20 games in soccer, or 28 matches in volleyball, and even football not sure what that season’s going to look like, that was the No. 1 concern that the student-athletes had, was the eligibility piece.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 11, 2020; Frisco, Texas, USA; North Dakota State Bison tight end Noah Gindorff (87) and North Dakota State Bison linebacker Jaxon Brown (3) celebrate with the trophy after the game against the James Madison Dukes at Toyota Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

FCS will not conduct fall playoffs

The Football Championship Subdivision will not conduct its annual playoffs this fall with participating schools in the upcoming regular season falling under a 50 percent threshold, multiple outlets reported Friday

On Friday, the Pioneer Football League and the Big Sky Conference announced they will not field football teams in the fall, citing coronavirus concerns. It means that less than half of the division’s 127 participating schools will field teams.

FCS members have not ruled out shifting the entire season to the spring semester, with playoffs to follow a delayed regular season. The Division I Council had until Aug. 21 to consider the fate of the FCS playoffs.

The playoffs, which were expanded to 24 teams in 2013, have been conducted every year since 1978. When first introduced the playoffs consisted of four teams, which was raised to eight in 1981. It was expanded to 20 teams by 2010.

FCS was formerly known as Division I-AA.

North Dakota State has won each of the last three FCS national titles and eight of the last nine. James Madison won the 2016 title.

Participating conferences for the FCS playoffs: Big Sky, Big South, Colonial Athletic Association, Mid-Eastern Athletic, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot League, Pioneer, Southern, Southland and Southwestern Athletic.

-Field Level Media

HEISMAN TROPHY WINNER PROPS: UPDATED THROUGH WEEK 10

Heisman Trophy Winner Props: Updated through Week 10

Tua Tagovailoa was already the favorite at 4/11 odds. After this week, his odds got better, and every other Heisman trophy candidate’s odds decreased. Also, his team just shut out the 3rd ranked LSU Tigers.

Note: The change column indicates the percentage change in the odds of each player. Positive change labeled in green means the player is getting bet and his odds are lower, while the negative change in red means the player’s odds have regressed.

Heisman Trophy Winner Props

{{CODE_HEISMAN_WEEK_10}}

Heisman Trophy Winner Props: Updated Through Week 9

Heisman Trophy Winner Props: Updated through Week 9

There was very little change from last week. The top four spots remained the same, and their odds barely changed.

Note: The change column indicates the percentage change in the odds of each player. Positive change labeled in green means the player is getting bet and his odds are lower, while the negative change in red means the player’s odds have regressed.

Heisman Trophy Winner Props

{{CODE_HEISMAN_WEEK_9}}

NCAA Announces Establishment of New Committee to ‘Examine’ Sports Wagering

The NCAA announced on Friday the formation of a new committee to examine sports wagering.

“The Board of Governors Ad Hoc Committee on Sports Wagering will examine the sports wagering landscape and its potential impact on current NCAA rules, educational efforts, player availability reporting, and any associated risks as more states legalize sports wagering,” the statement reads.

This follows the Association’s announcement in July that the national office is examining the long-term impact on college sports with an “internal team of subject matter experts,” with generally the same objectives.

This all follows the United States Supreme Court’s decision on May 14 in Murphy v NCAA, in which the high court struck down the 1992 federal ban on full-fledged sports wagering outside Nevada on Tenth Amendment principles. Since that time, the NCAA’s fellow respondents in the case, the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and the National Football League, and some of those leagues’ teams, have announced new partnerships with casinos, sportsbooks, and overall relaxed its rules regarding such deals.

 

Read more NCAA Announces Establishment of New Committee to ‘Examine’ Sports Wagering on SportsHandle.