According to Eric Hansen in today’s South Bend Tribune, Notre Dame will only be using 10 out of the 15 alotted practices for the upcoming Hawaii Bowl because of conflicts with final exams.
Umm…. hasn’t Charlie Weis repeatedly said that one of the main reasons for going to a lower tier bowl with a less than stellar 6-6 record was for the extra practice time? If so, then why is Notre Dame going to a bowl game that only allows the Irish to use 2/3 of the extra practices that are allowed under NCAA rules? There were other bowl games which were later in December that would have loved to host the Irish such as the Motor City, Texas, and Independence Bowls.
If the Hawaii Bowl was going to cause a conflict with practice time and final exams, why even consider it? If the extra practices are as important as Weis has made them out to be, it would seem obvious to me that he would want to use every single one of them. Instead, 1/3 of those practices will be wasted.
To put the 15 practices into perspective, 15 practices is the same number of practices that a team is given during Spring Football. Not using 5 of those 15 practices is almost the same as skipping a 1/3 of Spring Football. Bowl practices are also generally used to give younger players more reps to ease their development. With a young team it again would seem obvious that those 5 extra practices would be very useful.
I will say, however, that I’m proud to see Notre Dame putting final exams first when other schools might not, but if there were other opportunities which wouldn’t have even made this an issue, then why not take it?
Maybe I’m missing something here, but I fail to see how the Hawaii Bowl is more beneficial for the team if it forces them to use just 2/3 of the practice time the NCAA allows for.
I think I’ll let Allen Iverson close this post about practices up for me.