MANHATTAN -- Kansas State football players had to feel at least a little strange as they reported for the start of preseason practice this week.
The final day of July is usually too early to get serious about college football. Not anymore.
Like most teams across the country, K-State moved up the start of its preseason football activities to accommodate a new NCAA rule that ended one of the oldest staples of training camp -- two-a-days.
"Everyone is in turmoil," K-State football coach Bill Snyder said.
This summer, teams are only permitted to hold one three-hour practice per day. They can also perform a walkthrough without pads or helmets, but only after players have received three hours of continuous rest. No other conditioning activities are permitted.
Teams are still allowed to hold 29 practices before their first game, but coaches now have to expand their schedules to accommodate.
K-State special teams coordinator Sean Snyder, Bill's son, said the Wildcats traditionally wait until the first Friday in August to begin practice. The Wildcats waited later than some to hold their first preseason practice on Tuesday, which means they won't have time for a full slate. They are scheduled to practice 26 times before they open the season against Central Arkansas on Sept. 2.
"We are making a lot of adjustments and doing them quick," Sean Snyder said. "It is going to be a different preseason camp for everyone around the country. I think everyone is up and down on how it will turn out. We will just make the adjustments and move on."
Most Big 12 teams are following similar practice schedules, though Baylor began practice on July 27.
Bill Snyder is not a fan of the new rules, saying the NCAA altered it without first consulting with coaches. He doesn't like giving up practice time, and he hates asking players to report when they would traditionally be at home visiting family. But something had to give.
After much thought, he favored a schedule that features 17 practices in 19 days before the team settles into its regular-season routine on Aug. 21.
"In order to get 29 practices we have got to move back into April almost," Bill Snyder said two weeks ago at Big 12 media days. "That is not fair. If we were to take the full 29 days of practice we would have to go back into summer school and our players would not have a chance ever to get home after summer school and the summer program, and they deserve that. They need that, and I want them to have that."
Still, he prefers the old setup.
"We are going to end up being short in the number of preparation days we have going into the season," he said. "I am disturbed about that."