Stanford recently announced that it has moved to electronic playbooks, but the Cardinal are not alone. Duke coach David Cutcliffe said Monday that each of his players has been issued an iPad playbook.
“We are fully digital with iPads,” Cutcliffe said. “We're without paper. Our players each have iPads. All of our playbooks are on iPads. Their itineraries for camp, all of our video they watch.”
Cutcliffe said Duke has partnered with Apple and Global Apptitude out of Baltimore. Global Apptitude has also partnered with Ohio State and Syracuse this season. Stanford, meanwhile, has partnered with another firm, PlayerLync out of Denver.
“We have capabilities of sending them practice video to study,” Cutcliffe said. “They download it wherever they are. When you go through a playbook, it's just as it was written in the old days and has a little clip at the top that says video. You just punch it with your finger. Here a video shows up. So, you're visually seeing two or three reps of the play.”
Global Apptitude managing partner Randy Fusee said the iPad playbooks began last year in the NFL when the company worked with the Baltimore Ravens.
“Last year was the first year that anybody did this,” Fusee said. “We did this with the Baltimore Ravens. They used it for the entire 2011 season. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers also had a homegrown application which they have since dismantled. They're not using it this year. Then, we went to market after the 2011 season.”
Along with the three college programs, eight NFL teams have partnered with Global Apptitude: the Ravens, Rams, Lions, Seahawks, Cowboys, Redskins, Panthers, and Colts. PlayerLync works with five NFL teams. Fusee believes that more college programs will quickly follow suit.
“The first obstacle to get through in college was to get the first couple teams on it,” Fusee said. “Then word starts spreading around with guys like Coach [Cutcliffe] down at Duke who has given us a nice testimonial. And once people start getting word around that Urban Meyer is using it up at Ohio State, we expect college to be much like the NFL. It's just the Ravens last year, and then this year, it's more than half the league in total. We expect college to really take off like that next year. We're hopeful that a quarter to a third of NCAA teams are moving to this technology next year.”
In the meantime, Cutcliffe will have fun as one of only a handful of college programs that are ahead of the curve.
“It's a great toy,” Cutcliffe said. “I can't sleep. I stayed up last night and just kept playing with my iPad until I got threatened by [wife] Karen and decided to call it quits.”
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