Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Will Bears or Vikings shift training camp?
By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com senior writer John Clayton wrote earlier this week on the fast-approaching deadlines for teams that conduct off-site training camps. If not resolved by mid-July or so, the NFL lockout could claim those traditional events.
If so, the two NFC North teams that schedule training camp on college campuses might have to find alternatives if and when the lockout ends. Presumably, they would hold a scaled-back camp at their permanent practice facilities.
Typically, the Chicago Bears train at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill., and the Minnesota Vikings train at Minnesota State University, Mankato. But if the lockout extends beyond mid-July, necessitating at least a late start to training camp, the Bears and Vikings camps might overlap with the start of the fall semester at both schools. The teams must vacate dorm rooms and office space in time for students and administrators to move in.
So here are two dates to keep in mind. Olivet's student orientation begins Aug. 27. In Mankato, classes begin Aug. 22. Training camps would have to conclude at least several days before then in order to have a timely transition.
The NFL has already canceled its annual rookie symposium, and off-site training camps could be next.