The end of two-a-day practices in preseason camp, an expanded official visit window, an early letter-of-intent signing period and adding a 10th full-time assistant coach are among the changes coming to major-college football, the NCAA announced Friday.

And according to Jim Phillips, the Division I Council chairman and Northwestern athletic director, the changes were embraced — most unanimously — by the 10 conferences represented at the meeting in Indianapolis.

“I think that’s part of this storyline, that the unthinkable happened, and that is really competitive people from competitive areas of the country with competitive conferences and competitive commissioners and ADs and football coaches, came together in a strong way to move forward in the sport of football,” Phillips said in a teleconference with reporters.

The thrust seemed to make things more convenient for prospective student-athletes and safer for current players — the change in preseason practice rules, for example.

Teams still will have 29 practice opportunities before their season-opener, but without two-a-days, which had been limited to every other day by legislation several years ago.

“The sports sciences organization within the NCAA has commenced a study on a wide variety of components pertaining to football,” said Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, who chairs the oversight committee. “One of those is an assessment of where the majority of deaths occur, where the majority of concussions occur.

“One of the things that has been readily apparent in that research is that consecutive periods of contact can diminish the head’s ability to ward off concussive events and even dangerous sub-concussive events.”

Bowlsby said his committee also is looking at future initiatives such as a standardized 14-week regular season that will allow for two bye weekends. “At the same time we’re going to take a fresh look at what constitutes a practice” in terms of the rigors endured by players in a full-contact session as opposed to a light or no-contact practice.

The change in the recruiting calendar will allow prospects to begin making official visits on April 1 (through early June) as opposed to the current Sept. 1 of their senior year in high school.

It also will allow players to sign national letters of intent as early December (provided the Collegiate Commissioners Associations OKs the action this spring), while keeping the customary first Wednesday in February signing day.

“There is a segment of the population that wants to get (recruiting) over with,” Phillips said of the early date, which will coincide with the current signing period for junior-college transfers. Also, schools will be allowed to sign no more than 25 players in a recruiting year, doing away with the over-signing practices of some schools.

“The entire package of rule changes is friendly for students, their families and their coaches,” Bowlsby said. “We will continue to monitor the recruiting environment to make sure the rules work as intended.”

The addition of a 10th full-time assistant coach was previously agreed upon but delayed for implementation until Jan. 9, 2018.

At the same time, the Division I Council voted to prevent FBS schools “from hiring people close to a prospective student-athlete for a two-year period before and after the student’s anticipated and actual enrollment at the school,” effective immediately.

That provision already was put in place for men’s basketball in 2010.