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The Pac-12 is hoping to quell football practice over spring break. USATSI

The Pac-12 on Tuesday floated rule proposal that would prevent football teams from holding practices during spring break. It's a clear reaction to Jim Harbaugh staging some of Michigan's spring practice over spring break at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

As part of a 22-page report about time demands for college athletes, the Pac-12 identified ideas that could become rules within the Power Five conferences, all of Division I, or just in the Pac-12. One idea: "Prohibit practices from occurring during an institutional vacation period when the practices are part of a sport's non-championship segment (or the spring practice period in the sport of football."

The idea could reach beyond football. For instance, some swim teams travel to Florida over winter break strictly as a training trip. It's not clear if the Pac-12 idea could impact basketball foreign trips in which teams visit other countries out of season and play exhibition games. The SEC tried to block Michigan's spring break trip this year, but there's currently no NCAA rules preventing it.

Some other ideas the Pac-12 suggested for legislation:

  • Make schools provide athletes with designated "rest days" in addition to required days off with no required athletic activities.
  • Require schools to let athletes have at least three days off per week during the offseason from required athletic activities, up from the current two days off.
  • Amend the NCAA rulebook's definition of voluntary athletic related activities "to curtail perceived abuses related to voluntary and safety exception workouts." The Pac-12 said the current rules allow staff members to have "wiggle room" and abuse the rules so workouts are not voluntary.
  • Establish an unspecified time period after athletes return to campus from athletic travel when required athletic activities are not allowed.
  • Prohibit schools from requiring athletes to report for home games earlier than four hours before the start of the competition.

The Power Five conferences have listed reducing the time demands on athletes as a major issue to address by next year's NCAA convention. Current NCAA rules are supposed to limit required athletic activities to no more than 20 hours a week. But player surveys show they spend far more time on sports for various reasons, including how the NCAA time rules are defined.

For instance, a recent NCAA survey showed that a majority of college athletes believe travel to and from games, compliance meetings and organized team promotional activities should be counted under the NCAA time limit. Most coaches and administrators believe those activities should not be counted.

Also on Tuesday, the Pac-12 announced it will reduce the number of night football games by up to four through modifying the league's television contracts. Games on the Pac-12 Network can now start at either 2:30 or 6 p.m. local time and overlap with an exclusive TV window by ESPN or Fox.

The Pac-12 cited interest in limiting late-night travel for fans who travel long distances to games. Last season, Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez complained that his team played too many road games at night and that it physically impacted players. The Pac-12 often loses exposure on the East Coast with its night starts. Some people have suggested that's in part why Stanford's Christian McCaffrey didn't win the Heisman Trophy over Alabama's Derrick Henry in 2015.

The Pac-12 also adopted a fine system for schools to pay if their fans storm the court or field. The fines are $25,000 for the first offense, $50,000 for the second and $100,000 for the third. The third-offense penalty is less than half of the SEC's $250,000 fine for such an occurrence.