DURHAM—The image of a big, thick playbook binder has long been a staple of college football.
Starting this year, though, you won’t find any of those at Duke.
The Blue Devils have partnered with Apple and Baltimore-based Global Apptitude to go completely paperless as each player received an iPad with the playbook and all other necessary information, including the preseason camp itinerary, already uploaded.
“We have the capability to send them practice video to study, and they download it wherever they are,” head coach David Cutcliffe said. “When you go through the playbook, just as it was written in the old days, there’s a little clip at the top that says video, and you punch it with your finger, it’s magic, here’s a video that shows up, so you’re digitally seeing two of three reps of the play, then you flip the page to the next one.
It’s a great toy. I cant’ sleep.”
Tom Long and Adam Barkley, the head and assistant football director of information technology, set up a videoconference with Global Apptitude last spring. The company has partnerships with several NFL teams, including the Indianapolis Colts and the Dallas Cowboys.
Every player, including incoming freshmen, received an iPad about two weeks prior to the start of camp. Desmond Scott, who is switching from running back to wide reciver for his senior season, joked that he has already worn his out.
“I just got back from Atlanta on Sunday before camp, and I was on the plane going through plays,” he said. “When I’m watching TV, I’m on my iPad, going through plays.”
Cutcliffe said the move will also help control costs—he was surprised to learn how much the team spent on paper—and it also works towards the Blue Devils’ one simple goal.
“Everything we do, from the playbook to what we are going to plan in practice, to treatment in the training room is about one thing: scoring more points than the other team. Don’t try to complicate it. There’s only one way to win the game. Period. And that’s to score more points than the other team scores.”