Alabama's Nick Saban likes that summer workouts are now manadatory

Coaches can now make summer workouts mandatory

Anniston StarMay 1, 2014 

MOBILE, Ala. -- Alabama coach Nick Saban says the rule change that will allow college coaching staffs to spend time with their players during the summer months is "a good rule for player development."

In December, the NCAA amended its bylaws to allow coaches to make summer activities mandatory. These activities can include weight training, conditioning and up to two hours of film study per week.

"Our players do workout with our strength and conditioning coaches to this point," Saban said during his latest Crimson Caravan stop.

"I think for young players to have the opportunity to visit with their coach for a couple hours and be able to learn is probably a real advantage for the development of young players."

Per the NCAA's website, the full rule reads, "Allow football student-athletes to participate in preparations for the season during an eight-week period each summer. Those weeks can include eight hours per week of required weight training and conditioning.

Up to two of the eight hours can consist of film review. Student-athletes who participate in the summer activities must be enrolled in summer school or meet specific academic benchmarks.

The model is similar to those adopted by men's and women's basketball in the last two years.

Both the Football Bowl and Football Championship subdivisions supported this change."

Technically before the rule change, the summer workouts were voluntary and players who didn't want to attend couldn't be punished according to NCAA rules, but it's unclear how "voluntary" the workouts actually were. Coaching staffs weren't allowed to have contact with the players regarding football during the summer months. The strength and conditioning staff monitored the summer workouts.

Saban said the coaches have always been able to meet with the players regarding "administrative-type stuff" which includes things that aren't related to football.

Two years ago, the NCAA began allowing men's basketball coaches to have access to their players during the summer, and the women's game made the change in 2013.

Basketball coaches are allowed eight hours per week with their players during the summer, with a maximum of two hours for on-court, basketball skills training.

For football, the amendment replaces workouts with film study.

"The way we'll implement it is, we have coaches that are on duty all the time in the summer time," Saban said, "so those coaches and the GAs (graduate assistants) will spend a little bit of time with those guys, probably a little bit each day trying to bring them along."

-- Contact Anniston Star Sports Writer Marq Burnett mburnett@annistonstar.com. On Twitter,@Marq_Burnett.

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