Arkansas Football Plans to Begin Preseason Practice Mid-July


FAYETTEVILLE – According to what Arkansas Razorbacks Athletic Director Hunter Yurachek told the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees Monday, the Razorbacks plan to start preseason football practice in mid July and preparing for their Sept. 5 season opener against the University of Nevada at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

The Razorbacks did not hold spring football practice and since mid March the UA campus has been closed with classes conducted strictly online because of the coronavirus pandemic declared national emergency. In a video conference Yurachek, University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff Athletic Director Chris Peterson and University of Arkansas-Monticello Athletic Director Padraic McMeel regarding preparation for the 2020 football season. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has partially lifted some of the business closings implemented to curb the the virus’ spread prompting Monday’s discussion after Yurachek previously discussed his plans with Joseph Steinmetz, Chancellor of the UA’s Fayetteville campus. Those plans include opening on-campus weightroom facilities to Razorbacks athletes on June 1.

Under SEC edict, with all spring sports cancelled, those facilities have been ordered closed since mid-March through May 31. “On the heels of the governor’s announcement to open health clubs across the state of Arkansas today and with the blessing of Chancellor Steinmetz, we are working on a plan to open our strength and conditioning rooms, as well as our training rooms on June 1 on our campus for voluntary workouts for our student-athletes who live in the area,” Yurachek said.

Plans to assemble the entire team under new Coach Sam Pittman for acclimation conditioning and walkthrough practices before the Aug. 5 scheduled start of preseason practice are tentative pending results of the virus’ rate in Arkansas during the summer, but July 15 has been set as a target date.

“I think it would be six weeks out, roughly July 15,” Yurachek told the Board. “We would have a couple of weeks of an acclimation period where our student-athletes would have some strength and conditioning training as well as some walk-throughs and team meetings that would head into our regularly scheduled fall camp that is scheduled to start on Aug. 5. I think if we can get to a schedule where, at the latest, July 15 we have our fall sports student-athletes on campus, I think we have a really good chance of starting our football season on time.”

The Razorbacks other fall sports include men’s and women’s cross country, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball.

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