LAKE LANIER ISLANDS, GA — It's summertime, but the living's not easy for ACC football players, and it may never be again.
"Those days are gone," said UNC Coach Carl Torbush. "It's now 365 days a year. It has become a full-time game."
"Our summers are very important to our program," Wake Forest coach Jim Caldwell explained. "We have most of our squad in the first or second session of summer school."
And it's not just the schooling coaches are thinking about. Clemson coach Tommy West said it's the "weightlifting, speed training, conditioning, plus the mental aspect."
"If you step on the field, in our case Aug. 3, and you haven't prepared, it's hard to believe you're good enough to win," N.C. State coach Mike O'Cain stated.
This week's ACC Kickoff outing at Georgia's Pine Isle Resort afforded one last respite for coaches and some players, although most found themselves taking questions from the media about their off-seasons.
Now comes the time for coaches and players to reflect on their summer's work, to take one last look in the mirror before pronouncing themselves ready.
"I ask the players to be out there every day at 5:30," FSU's Chris Weinke admitted. "I respect them for workin'."
"If you slide in the weightroom, you slide to the bottom," West believes.
The games of autumn are won in summer.