While they wait for the NCAA ruling, many college football coaches are determined to implement the 21st century model.




Image courtesy of Wake Forest University men’s football on Twitter
Two coaches determined, among many, to make improvements and changes to make the student-athlete experience for college soccer players and improve the game, include the men’s and women’s House soccer coaches, Jay Vidovic and Randy Waldrum.

Both were at the forefront of proposing an initiative to fundamentally change the college football landscape, which is up for a vote by the NCAA DI Sports Board on Wednesday, unless the board makes a decision to bring up the vote.

Update: The NCAA DI Sports Council has put this vote up through May or June.

When the 2020 college football season was interrupted and subsequently extended through the spring of 2021, as many fall sports were canceled by most Division I conferences due to COVID-19, Vidovic, in particular, took the opportunity to reconsider the initiative of Kan and the other coaches. In college have long been excited about: permanently creating a model for the “21st century” season (playing meaningful games in both fall and spring), demonstrating that this schedule will provide student-athletes to build more time for academics, while maximizing high team experience level in football throughout each academic calendar year.

“Thanks in large part to this 21st century model, we’ve had a lot of players making progress. We have enough depth. Guys who know their job,” Vidovic said in May 2021, after the Pitt men’s soccer team qualified for the NCAA Championship as the top seed .

“We are very happy with that. We will have more answers. They played and trained together all year together. There are guys who can sit on the bench, are ready, and they put pressure first on the first players.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the 2020 college football season to become a spring semester.

However, this is something many coaches have wanted for a long time.

Back in 2000, a large, unified group of coaches, including Vidovic and Maryland’s Sasho Cerovsky, approached the NCAA with the idea of ​​extending the schedule.

“We were told to go too far,” Cerovsky said recently.

More than two decades later, and now, after beta testing passing through the pandemic, when coaches and student-athletes have got a taste of what it would be like, they’re back with a very comprehensive proposal, putting together a well-thought-out idea of ​​making a plan for an improved schedule and proving that the current college football setup is detrimental to the player’s well-being Its development is academic and athletic – and for the quality of the game itself.

“We wanted to make sure that this was an inclusive model that was for the 5,000 kids who play first division football every year, not just the 50 who would go pro each year,” Cerovsky said.

Recently, after another season when the NCAA returned to its traditional college football schedule, a crazy, stern dash during the August-December fall season, often with two games played each week, coaches led by Serovsky and Vidovic were finally ready to take their suggestion. to the NCAA.

In fact, to make their case further, the trainers created a website – https://www.21stcenturymodel.org/ – detailing the rationale for making the change.

Below includes some charts identifying quotes and information on the site.

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“The best programs do it right. Pittsburgh Riverhounds coach Bob Lilly, Pittsburgh Riverhounds coach, who was a captain on George Mason’s team in the late ’80s and early ’90s,” added Pittsburgh Riverhounds coach Bob Lilly, “but playing six to seven months is more realistic.” .

Recently, the Hounds signed three former Pitt players to their roster, Shane Wiedt, Robby Dambrot and Arturo Ordonez. Lilly keeps close tabs and has been in constant contact with college coaches, regularly monitoring all levels of college football to bring in new players while he builds the first team roster for his team each year.

“There are players in the academy who play year-round, but with college players it takes three months a season and then they have to play in the PDL or somewhere during the summer. We (formerly Pete’s star) trained with us so he can stay strong during the slump. There are more scouts than ever. With the internet, everything has changed. For me, we know when the players are ready (to play at a professional level).”

Vidovic has been optimistic about the ’21st century model’ since he was interviewed Pittsburgh Football Now In 2016, when he arrived at Pete.

He believes momentum is building in favor of extending the college football season to fall and spring, with student-athletes spending the entire year in 2020-21. After Vidovic saw the academic and other benefits, Vidovic said many coaches believe principals are becoming more supportive of the season-expanding college football.)

The plan has its opponents, the most outspoken of whom has been one of Pete’s rivals on the field in recent years, the Notre Dame men’s footballers.

“We watched the videos that the 21st century model made. We read through the PowerPoint slides they gave us. And to be honest, there was no thought on our part,” Paddy Burns of Notre Dame told Indianapolis Post.

“It was a very consistent thought process from all the players. We all made our individual decisions. Our coaches were great. They had no input. Our coach didn’t even tell us what he preferred. It was just up to the players, and individually, no one supported that model for a few different reasons.”

Among the main topics the coaches address and the Hope mod include the lack of recovery time between matches, the short pre-season, but also the limited media coverage and then there is the academic factor. During the fall season, a tight schedule limits course selection, reduces study time and the ability of student-athletes to complete assignments.

Coaches explain that for the nearly 5,000 college football players who have not yet become a professional, the space for academic enrichment can be vital.

Serovsky took over as Division I Head Coach in 2003. From that podium, he lobbied for a two-semester model. But he realized that drastic change was not possible – at least not immediately.

Cirovski and Rob Kehoe, United Soccer Coaches Manager for Intercollegiate Programs, presented their plan in full at the Coaches Conference in 2014.

The immediate reaction was far from encouraging.

“While it was well received, it was also tempered by a mixture of pessimism about thinking about past efforts, and the institutional nature of the NCAA not allowing for change,” Cerovsky said.

Soon things changed. Steady, the proposal gained traction, with coaches, conferences and professional players expressing their support. Notable personalities have influenced the world of football in the United States.

“This kind of project, this kind of change, we know they can fundamentally change the concept of college football,” Alexei Lalas said at a press conference.

And in 2015, the proposal had science on its side, with an NCAA agreement analyzing how a busy schedule affected DI footballers. One of the main reasons for his reprimand was the risk of injury and stress on the body.

A vote was originally scheduled for 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic has halted the momentum — and the voting has halted.

This interruption, however, provided a perfect test of the two-semester model. The ACC played the COVID-flex plan, which spanned the season for nearly seven months. Those teams enjoyed successful years.

The players weren’t the ones to benefit either. The national championship match was held on May 17, in 70-degree weather. That competition was the first event fans were allowed to attend throughout the season; It was also the highest-watched college football game in ESPN history.

There are still some questions to be answered. One such issue is whether NCAA women’s football will pursue. Some leaders have expressed support, and their side of the game is undergoing some changes as well, including a longer pre-season period and later the College Cup.

“They want to see how our business goes, and we hope we can become a good example for them in the future,” Cervosky said.

So, what started as a humiliating suggestion has turned into a full-blown movement. An initial vote has been set for mid-April, and proponents of the model insist it will pass.

For a college sport that has been abandoned despite its many flaws, they feel it is the least it deserves.

“The numbers don’t lie. The solution is practical. It is time for the information to reveal that this is the right thing to do,” Cerovsky said.




John Kreczynski has covered football and other sports for many years for numerous publications and media. He is also the author of ‘Miracle on the Mon’ – a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, chronicling the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to a great game centered around it that helped provide a spark. for the sake of excellence. John has covered sports for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, and Pittsburgh Sports Report, served as a color commentator for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcast, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for the US Open and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. Kreczynski also served as a men’s soccer coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first seasons and all-time winning berths (1996-1998); Head Coach for Northern Catholic Boys (2007 – 2008), Assistant Head Coach for Shady Side Boys Academy (2009-2014).


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