Bowl Notes: When to practice, when to recruit

OREGON STATE won't take to the practice field until Saturday, it was recently announced. With the Sheraton Hawaii bowl game coming up fast on Dec. 24 (ESPN, 5 p.m. PT) the Beavers are going to need to get some quality gridiron time in. That brings up one of the most oft-mentioned myths surrounding the bowl season...

Head coaches and media over the years have often referred to bowl teams getting those valuable 15 bowl practices.

But that's never been true.

The practice restriction for bowl teams is the same as it is during the regular season -- 20 hours of practice time per week.

There is no restriction on the number of practices that can be held and there never has been according to the NCAA.

Now, it probably works out on average, for a variety of reasons, to somewhere around 15 practices -- so that might be where the confusion comes from. For Oregon State, they have two weeks from today before their bowl game so it's almost a lock they'll be under 15 sessions.

But that doesn't mean those practices can't be longer than normal.

Boise State, the Beavs' opponent in the Hawaii Bowl, will practice for the first times on Saturday and Sunday according to the Idaho Statesman. (It appears, however, BSU got in at least a couple practices last week according to various reports, as bowl-eligible teams are allowed before announcements come out.)

So why the delay in getting going on practices?

In a word, recruiting.

The in-home visitation is in swing right now and that won't (temporarily) shut down until after this weekend for the holidays. And so right now, most bowl teams are foregoing practices in favor of having their assistants and head coaches out on the road going full-tilt on recruiting.

But it wouldn't be surprising to see OSU hold a practice session as early as tomorrow or Thursday, even if it's run by just an offensive and defensive coach, and then continue the rest of the week as the remainder of the coaches come back in from the recruiting trail.

Update: Oregon State has released some practice information. The Beavs will begin practice on Saturday, Dec. 14 and continue thorough until Dec. 18 on campus. The game in Hawaii is Dec. 24 so it seems likely the Beavs will leave on the 18th or 19th for Honolulu. 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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