Kansas Jayhawks to Incorporate Virtual Reality into Training Routine

By Jamie Plunkett
Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Yep, you read that right.

In a move that has everyone else in the Big 12 scratching their heads, the Kansas Jayhawks will begin to use virtual reality training to prepare their athletes for games.

According to KUsports.com, a news release from the Kansas Athletics department reads,

Once the software is fully developed, student-athletes will be able to step into a 10 feet by 10 feet room and be immersed into simulated-game action. The experience makes the user feel as if they are standing on an actual playing field, complete with crowd noise, realistic game speeds and football player avatars running real plays.

This is interesting, to say the least. I feel that if this were Ohio State or the University of Texas, or another large, successful program, this would be seen as leading edge. However, this is Kansas that we’re talking about. No doubt people will take this opportunity to point and laugh at what has been the single worst football program in the conference since winning the Orange Bowl in 2007.

I would love to be in the room when the first player attempts to “practice” via virtual reality. I imagine a safety practicing his coverage skills before slamming into a wall.

However, if this does end up working for the Jayhawks, i.e. they win a few conference games, I fully expect other schools to jump on this trend quickly. Virtual reality helps train folks in a lot of professions these days. Pilots, surgeons and even military personnel all use virtual reality to train for their jobs.

So maybe it isn’t that crazy after all.

You can follow Jamie on Twitter at @thedsportsrant.

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