Pitt’s football players are returning to campus, with the school officially reopening for football players on Monday.
The team has not gone through any official or unofficial workouts just yet, as the players are undergoing a period of COVID-19 testing that has been proscribed in the school’s official reopening plan.
Excited to welcome student-athletes back to the University of Pittsburgh!
— Pitt Football (@Pitt_FB) June 8, 2020
When they do return after having just three spring practices and no spring game, June’s workouts might have a greater level of importance in 2020 than usual. So what happens during summer college football workouts?
Players that are also enrolled in summer school, which is the vast majority of the team, but not always all of them, can have required weight training, conditioning and meetings for eight weeks during the summer, with a maximum of eight hours per week, and a maximum of two of those hours per week can be viewing game film or participating in walk-throughs.
These conditioning drills may not simulate offensive or defensive alignments and may not use equipment related to the sport. Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi has made reference to his players using tennis balls over the summer in the past.
Outside of those eight hours per week, the players can hold voluntary workouts without coaches present. Those voluntary practices do not have a time limit, but attendance must not be taken.
In accordance with the school’s COVID-19 reopening plan, all workouts — official or unofficial — will take place in groups of no more than 10 to start. Players will be continually screened with temperature checks, utilize personal protective equipment and practice social distancing.
With most of the incoming freshman Class of 2020 now in the program, getting their strength and conditioning level up to that of a Division I athlete will be a big job for the Panthers’ new strength and conditioning staff, headed by Michael Stacchiotti.
Starting quarterback Kenny Pickett will likely to continue the familiarization work started this spring with new tight end Lucas Krull and wide receivers Jordan Addison and Aydin Henningham, with Jaylon Barden now in the mix, as well.
Not many decisions are made on what happens over the summer, but steady progress over the next two months could be a big benefit to what is already a veteran team heading into 2020.