NCAA Division II football officially voted on an emergency referendum yesterday to abolish the two-a-day system. Following the lead of the NFL and then Division III, D2 will look to end two-a-days as early as the upcoming 2017 season.
There’s a lot of takes out there but I’m not going to be that guy that talks about how soft America is becoming. There are plenty of people to do that for me. The science convincingly proves that two-a-days are harmful to the bodies of young athletes. Honestly, I’m just pissed that between high school and college I spent eight years going through that horrible ordeal.
No matter what age you were, if you had to go through a two-a-day, it sucked royally. The most gratifying part of getting through an August practice is being done with practice. So when you have to turn around and head back out for round 2 a few hours later, it’s a trying experience.
The thing I always found humorous was how coaches would try to act like they were disappointed in the “low energy” in the second half of a two-a-day. Uhhh ya think? Where could the energy possibly have gone? Clearly, we have been just sitting around all day. But then when players tried to compensate and coast through the morning practice there was backlash. Like why can’t you just give maximum effort for two full practices in a day because that’s totally possible?
I do think in the structure of NCAA football this move is kind of pointless. The second practice time will just be replaced by something else. Whether it be a lifting session, extra film work, or some sort of legal unpadded practice, that time slot is getting filled. College football coaches specialize in two things: 1. Controlling every second of an 18-22 year old athlete’s life & 2. Finding new inventive ways to control every second of an 18-22 year old athlete’s life. The NCAA is too busy to monitor universities that don’t make them money so some may just disregard the rule entirely.
The death of the two-a-day is sad. We weren’t prepared for it to go so soon. It’s a concept embedded deep into football culture. A tradition as old as time. Bear Bryant very well may be rolling over in his grave but this is the direction the game is going. Safety is finally becoming a priority and while that may come with a little dose of culture shock, it was needed. I’m actually excited to be able to have one of those, “you don’t know how good you go it,” speeches with my kids one day.
R.I.P Two-a-day. Missed (not really) but never forgotten.