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Ivy League Coaches Approve Banning Full-Contact Football Practices

By Maxwell J. Simon, Crimson Staff Writer

Amid increasing concern over player safety and concussion prevention, Ivy League football coaches voted last week to eliminate all full-contact practices during the season.

While support to completely eliminate contact practices during the season was unanimous among coaches according to the New York Times, the potential rule change is still only in the “discussion” phase, according to Ivy League Associate Communications Director Scottie Rogers.

Rogers wrote in an email that the process to formalize any changes would take months and would have to go through multiple rounds of voting.

“From that discussion it gets developed into a proposal, and that proposal is what would get approved,” Rogers wrote. “The coaches approved to move forward with a proposal. That's where this stands.”

The Ivy League could formalize a no contact policy in June 2016 and go into effect as early as the 2016 football season, Rogers wrote.

Outlining how a potential no tackling proposal would move forward, Rogers wrote, “The decision tree for most major proposals/decisions that affects athletics in the Ivy League begins with the athletics directors first and then the policy committee and then finally to the presidents.”

The Ivy League currently enforces safety policies that are stricter than NCAA rules and requires teams to hold fewer full contact practices during preseason and the spring.

According to Ivy League football rules, teams are currently allowed just two full contact practice days per week while in season. “NCAA regulations currently do not address inseason, full-contact practices”, according to the organization’s website.

The move to formalize stricter rules would mirror current policies at Dartmouth, which barred in-season tackle practices in 2010.

The Faculty Council, the highest elected body of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences—under whose purview the Athletics Department falls—discussed concussions among athletes at a meeting in January.

—Staff Writer Maxwell J. Simon can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @maxwelljsimon.

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