FCS Playoffs
MEAC

Spring 2020 FCS Playoffs might be HBCU-less

The MEAC and SWAC schedules appear to place them on the outside-looking-in of spring FCS playoffs. But there could be a bowl game too.

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The Division I council made several other recommendations as well:

Beginning Sept. 21, teams may conduct on-field practice. From Sept. 21 through Dec. 31, during the fall equivalent of spring practice (“fall ball”), schools are limited to 12 hours per week, a maximum of four hours per day, of countable athletics activity. Two days off are required per week. Schools may start their preseason or regular season during this period.

Beginning Sept. 21, teams may conduct on-field practice. From Sept. 21 through Dec. 31, during the fall equivalent of spring practice (“fall ball”), schools are limited to 12 hours per week, a maximum of four hours per day, of countable athletics activity. Two days off are required per week. Schools may start their preseason or regular season during this period, in which case the rules for preseason or regular season activity apply.

For the two weeks before the start of preseason, teams may have noncontact practice activities for up to 20 hours per week. The 20 hours can include up to eight hours for weight training, conditioning and film review (two hours maximum on film review), up to one hour per day for walkthroughs and up to one hour per day for meetings, which may include team meetings, position meetings, one-on-one meetings, etc. Two days off are required.

In 2020-21, schools can have “fall ball” or “spring practice” but not both. Schools conducting fall ball can’t have preseason practice (including any of the activities that are permitted in the two weeks before preseason practice) or competition before Jan. 1. Schools conducting fall ball during fall 2020 must follow the spring practice model (for example, 15 on-field practices within 34 consecutive days).

Before engaging in practice in the fall, schools must declare their first contest date. If practice must be paused due to the impact of COVID-19 on the team, missed days may be used later in the window. Fall ball and the preseason practice period (including the two 20-hour weeks preceding preseason practice) must be separated by at least 30 days of noncontact activities, which must include two weeks of discretionary student-athlete time. One of the two required weeks of discretionary time must be the week before the return to countable athletically related activity.

Existing maximum contest limits and normal practice limitations apply. Conference championship games can be added, and the potential for bowl games in the spring also remains. Conferences can start and end their seasons at their discretion, within the limits adopted by the Council. Additionally, schools applying the autonomy legislation must provide a week off at the end of the regular season and/or postseason.

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Spring 2020 FCS Playoffs might be HBCU-less
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