Returning players should arrive Tuesday and, by Wednesday, coach Danny Cronic hopes they’re all ready to get to work.
Cronic said the biggest challenge for Reinhardt continues to be getting the players through the NAIA clearinghouse. The process includes contacting players’ high schools, and any previous colleges, for transcripts. Financial aid paperwork must also be completed, and medical insurance for each of the players must be verified.
“All of the paperwork is a headache, but all football coaches know that,” Cronic said. “Seniors and upperclassmen, you don’t have to deal with that stuff, but when you have freshmen and redshirt freshmen, there is a lot more of it to take care of.”
Cronic estimates he and his staff are about 80-percent done with the process.
There have been players on campus either taking classes or working out throughout the summer, though the group has been small.
“We have had maybe one-tenth of the folks here this summer,” Cronic said. “Most of those have been local guys. We are concerned about the fitness level of the guys as they come back in.”
With a large group of incoming freshmen, Cronic expects it will take a few days for them to get adjusted to being on campus and being in charge of themselves. The veteran coach said freshmen have to learn how to handle themselves and manage classes, football and personal responsibilities.
The issues are amplified because Reinhardt will have so many freshmen who are living away from home for the first time.
The Eagles’ roster is far from set. They will practice for the next three weeks before holding a closed scrimmage ahead of the Aug. 31 opener at Mercer. That scrimmage will be when many of the decisions are made.
“Each day will be an evaluation process with the numbers we have,” Cronic said. “(Aug. 19) will be the first day of school and that itself will be a big day as we transition from camp to school.”
After its inaugural game, Reinhardt’s home opener will be a week later against Lindsey Wilson College.