banning full-contact high school football practice in the off-season. In addition, middle school and high school football teams will be limited to no more than two full-contact practices per week during the preseason and regular season.
Is this the beginning of the end of high school football as we know it?
Not necessarily. John Gagliardi (above), the winningest coach in college football history, didn't allow any tackling in practice. Before retiring from St. John's University (MN) in 2012 Gagliardi explained, "That came to me as a young guy who was getting killed in practice. Our coach used to say, 'Hit somebody! Kill somebody!' But I noticed that I was the guy getting killed.
"We haven't made a tackle on the practice field since 1958.
"It isn't rocket
science to me. I'll never forget the first time we won the national
championship and, at a clinic afterwards, a fellow says to me, 'Don't
you think, if you'd have hit more, you'd have done better.'
" 'Well,' I said, 'I don't know. We played 12 games and won them all. I don't know how we could've won 13.' "