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The University of New Mexico football team will bypass voluntary workouts and is set to begin position meetings of small groups and weight training on July 6, according to the NCAA-approved model for summer access activities, coach Danny Gonzales said on Wednesday.
The Lobos’ preseason camp is scheduled to start on July 31, the first-year coach said, and he added UNM is still working on the plan for the players’ return to the facilities.
College football teams are currently cleared for voluntary workouts, but Gonzales said he is keeping players away from the weight room because he wants them to be fully prepared for when they return on July 6.
“We are trying to learn from what’s going on around the country and make sure that we are doing the best we can for our student-athletes,” Gonzales said. “That same principle follows all the way to game day.”
The Lobos completed their eighth spring practice on March 13, and the coronavirus pandemic canceled the remaining seven scheduled sessions. Since that time, Gonzales has been relying on phone and video-chat communication with his players.
Gonzales and other coaches were cleared to work at the UNM football offices on Monday. He said they have their temperatures taken daily and they do not meet in confined spaces.
“I have not gotten tested (for the coronavirus),” Gonzales said. “I have not been sick at all. My temperature has been normal. It’s been a good process.”
For the first two weeks starting from July 6, the Lobos will train for 8 hours each week. Then from July 17, the training will increase to 20 hours per week leading up to the start of preseason camp.
The Lobos are scheduled to open the season on Aug. 29 against Idaho State at Dreamstyle Stadium.
From the July 6 start date to Aug. 29 is sufficient time to be ready for the opener, Gonzales said.
“We won’t gain great strength from the time that we have lost,” Gonzales said. “We can recover some of it. But we can continue to build a plan where we continually gain strength through the season.”