Big 12 Limits Contact Practices

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DALLAS — Big 12 athletic directors have adopted a new conference rule limiting the number of days of contact to two, including game day, commissioner Bob Bowlsby announced Monday.

Teams will be permitted only one day of contact drills during the week of practice, Bowlsby said on the first day of Big 12 Media Days at the Omni Hotel.

“We believe it’s the right step, and we hope it will become the national rule,” Bowlsby said. “Even if it doesn’t, we think that that’s the right way to conduct our practices.

“It’s another way in which we’re a little different, but our (athletic directors) have felt strongly about it and our coaches have supported it.”

The new conference guidelines are tighter than NCAA rules, which limit the number of hitting days to two practices a week plus game day.

In the preseason, the NCAA mandates that there be no more than four live contact practices per week and a maximum of 12. In just three practices may contact exceed half of practice.

Bowlsby said Big 12 officials found that teams weren’t using the permitted time anyway.

“It’s easy for us,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said. “Just on Tuesday. That’s the only day we’re in full pads besides the game. We’ve been that way, really, since we’ve been at TCU.

“I’ve just felt like the body types are getting so big, so strong, so fast, I think it’s just important that you make sure that you get all guys to game day and keep them healthy. That’s been our mind-set for a long time. The best teams play at the end of the year.”

Kansas State’s Bill Snyder and West Virginia’s Dana Holgorsen echoed those sentiments.