This week, Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops will attend some of his players’ summer workouts.
He’ll be able to spend up to two hours per week reviewing film with them.
He’ll be able to dole out punishment if they don’t meet required standards in the classroom over the summer.
An NCAA rule change effective this summer allows coaches to stay directly involved with the players, though Stoops said the football element of things won’t change a whole lot.
“I don’t want to change our conditioning, speed, strength training regiment,” Stoops said. “It’s been very positive for us. So to steal or take hours away from that to do other things (doesn’t make sense).”
What will change, though, is the ability to maintain and develop relationships during the summer.
“I can’t wait to walk into a weight room and put my arm around a guy and tell him he looks good and motivate him,” Stoops said.
The rule is good for praise.
It’s also good for punishment.
“I was out there a couple of years ago to run three or four guys for missing multiple classes and was told I’m not allowed to. You can miss all the classes you want — and you’ll get suspended from games in our case — but I wanted to head that off by giving them some punishment by running.”
Now he can.
While the rule is new for football, basketball coaches got their first taste of it last season.
Sooners men’s coach Lon Kruger said while the practice time was productive, the human element mattered more.
“You’re around them two or three times a week perhaps in a way that you wouldn’t otherwise, just in conversation and checking on how things are going on campus and back home and just the opportunity to see them more frequently is just as much bonus as the basketball is,” Kruger said.
Women’s coach Sherri Coale didn’t get the chance to take advantage of the rule after spending last summer coaching Team USA.
“Just because you have two hours a week, doesn’t mean you have to use two hours a week and just because you can have all your team together doesn’t mean you have to have them all together and just because you have them all together doesn’t mean you have to run 15 drills,” Coale said. “There’s all kinds of things you can do and ways you can utilize it. I like to look at it as a tool for relating to our new kids and building that team unity that’s so important to success.”
Even Stoops might not use the full time allowed.
He said strength and conditioning coach Jerry Schmidt won’t give up two hours of workout time for Stoops and his staff to go over film and work with the players, but Stoops said he hoped to get an hour and a half.
“To have meetings with freshmen or new guys to go over tape and teach a little bit of what you are allowed to do,” Stoops said.
“They’ll be able to be coached up with terminology and what we are doing quicker with us helping them.”