Did Twitter kill open practices?

It’s another Fabulous Friday. Training camp has started and we are less than four weeks away from the start of the season. It can’t get here quickly enough for me.

As always, the floor is open for any topic, even those that aren’t football related. Just keep it clean.

Here are five topics to get things started today:

1. Did Twitter kill open practices? Word came this week that both Florida and Georgia Tech, whose practices have always been open, are now closed to everyone–even the media. I hate to see that because I still like going to practice. But I understand why they are doing it.

Brady Ackerman, one of my broadcast partners on “Talkin’ Football” on CSS, told the story of why Mack Brown at Texas had to close practice: A Texas player gets hurt at practice. The normal protocol for reporters on something like that is to wait until the end of practice and then consult with the coaches and training staff for an assessment of the injury. But with Twitter and Facebook and instant communications there seem to be no rules. The information was on the internet before practice was over and Brown had had a chance to contact the parents of the player. That shouldn’t happen and so practice was closed.

It’s not good for the fans to only get the school’s version of what happened at practice. But if I was a coach I would either ban cell phones at practice or close it. Coaches are practical people and know that the easy thing is just to close practice and eliminate the problem.

2. Will Marvin Austin play against LSU? Will Marcell Dareus play against Penn State? To me those are the most compelling questions of the preseason. Both players were reportedly investigated for improper contact with agents. North Carolina athletics director Dick Baddour said investigators were back on campus this week and I can’t believe that is good for Austin. Dareus is practicing and this week coach Nick Saban said the school has completed its investigation and turned its findings over to the NCAA.

Normally in these kinds of cases the player pays restitution for whatever benefit he received plus a one or two game suspension. I would be surprised if that doesn’t happen here.

If Austin is suspended one game he’ll miss the Sept. 4 opener with LSU at the Georgia Dome. If Dareus is suspended two games, he’ll miss the Sept. 11 showdown with Penn State in Tuscaloosa. Both will be missed if that happens.

3. Time to show Stephen Garcia a little love: The South Carolina quarterback has gotten a pretty good verbal beating from head coach Steve Spurrier since Spring practice.  Spurrier has since told Garcia that he was just trying to light a fire under the senior quarterback. Apparently it worked. Garcia reported to camp about 10 pounds lighter and told reporters that he had given up his favorite adult beverage in an effort to get into shape. I would say that pretty soon it will be time for Spurrier to show Garcia some love and to build him back up for the season. The great ones, like Bear Bryant, knew how to do that. Bryant knew how to rip a player for an entire practice and when it was over, he would put his arm around that same player and say something like: “You know that I’m just doing this because I love you and I want you to be a good player.” It worked.

Garcia is the best that Spurrier has and he gives the Gamecocks a chance. Of course, Garcia has to prove that he deserves a pat on the back instead of a kick in the butt.

4. Big Ten needs to keep championship game in Indy: The Big Ten announced this week that its  first conference championship game will be in 2011 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. After that, said commissioner Jim Delany, the Big Ten will look at a long range plan for the championship.

A little advice to our friends in the Big Ten: Don’t make the same mistake that the Big 12 and the ACC made by moving the game around. Pick a home and keep it there. There is something to be said for every team in your conference starting the season with the goal of getting to Indianapolis. The Big Ten knows that their biggest rivalry is the SEC when it comes to college football supremacy. The SEC championship game has been in Atlanta since 1994 for a reason. Indy is a great town with everything within walking distance of the stadium.

5. NCAA is investigating West Virginia. That can’t be good for Rich Rod: The NCAA gave West Virginia official notice yesterday that it is looking into five possible major rules violations under former coach Rich Rodriguez (now at Michigan) and current coach Bill Stewart. In its report, the NCAA said that Rodriguez and Stewart “failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance.” That, my friends, is one of the magic phrases for NCAA investigators. The other is “lack of institutional control.” Both mean the same thing: “You are running a pretty loose ship here and we’re looking into it.”

Rich Rod has the same issues at Michigan, where the school had to admit that it had violated rules on excessive practices.

Rodriguez was already under the gun at Michigan before the West Virginia investigation. This cannot help.

Have a great weekend.

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180 comments Add your comment


August 6th, 2010
10:48 pm

Tide, S Carolina hosts So Miss on Thursday, Sept 2 in the ESPN prime time slot. Kiffin plays at Hawaii that night in a late game. I believe there are at least one or two other less noteable games too that might.


August 7th, 2010
12:04 am

TED, I agree SC will win this year in Columbia. But I don’t think it’s one touchdown close. I almost think Spurrier is going to go to town on the Junker’s new 3-4.

TAMPAGator, your wrong. Ask Terry Dean. Ask Grossman in 00 when he completed a 4 yard pass to Bo Carroll against UgA and was benched in favor of Jessee Plamer who lost his spot one week earlier.

Hey Dogtards

August 7th, 2010
8:28 am

I disagree a little bit about the championship game.

It should be in the cultural and geographical center of the conference.

For the SEC, that’s Atlanta.

As a GT fan, I wish it were Atlanta for the ACC, but its in Charlotte. The problem with Tampa and Jacksonville is they just aren’t that close to many (if any) schools. There are 7-8 schools that are closer to Charlotte than FSU is to Tampa or Jacksonville.

Indy is close, but Chicago would be better for the Big 10. More people from each school live there. It’s closer to Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota. The problem with Indy is its too far south. You want to pick the most major city nearest to the geographical center of the conference. Not only is Chicago bigger, but its more in the center.

Delbert D.

August 7th, 2010
9:40 am

Charlotte is a great place for the ACC Championship game in early December, preferably played in the afternoon. The average high is 54 and the average low is 34. November and December have the lowest average precipitation of the year. Record High temperature is 81 in 2007 and the record low is 1 in 1917.


August 7th, 2010
11:02 am

It was Nick Saban that closed practices, not Twitter.


August 7th, 2010
11:06 am

I don’t think Spurrier has the ability to love. It’s kind of like expecting Satan give someone in hell a glass of sweet iced tea and saying I am only burning you for all eternity because I love you.


August 7th, 2010
12:48 pm


Terry Dean was benched for throwing too many interceptions and not being a team player…he had a horrible attitude. And he was soon replaced by Danny (Heisman) Wuerfel. Yeah…Spurrier made a real bad decision benching Dean for Wuerfel didn’t he? And…I agree….Spurrer had no idea what he was doing with either Grossman or Palmer….but somehow both ended up being drafted and playing QB in the NFL. Good point you made in proving me wrong. Want to try again?


August 7th, 2010
12:49 pm


Spurrier only had the ability to win SEC and National titles at Florida…real bad guy…that Spurrier.


August 7th, 2010
12:52 pm

And Skyler….

No….YOU (’) RE….corrected!

Beast from the East

August 7th, 2010
1:47 pm

Tampa Gator is right about Terry Dean. HORRIBLE, “ME FIRST” attitude. Hell, he and his dad threatened to sue because it ruined his Heisman chances. That kid was the exact opposite of a team player.


August 7th, 2010
2:15 pm


I didn’t say he wasn’t a great coach. I just question whether the Dark Lord has the capacity for love. Get a sense of humor, dude.

Tide's Falling

August 7th, 2010
2:25 pm

TideRising…you’ve got zip for facts on what really happened w/ Marvin Austin and any other Tar Heel players. And you’re throwing down some serious accusations based on nothing but biased rumors. Anything to keep one of your boys in the clear, right?
Pretty amazing that the rumor mongers are out in force to try to put the cuffs on a puny bb school, who’s an ACC team! Guess the concern that Butch Davis has assembled a team of sec killers has got you worried. You better hope the ncaa puts Marvin on ice for the LSU game.

Tide Rising

August 7th, 2010
3:19 pm


Sorry dude but I’m just writing what’s been written about by reporters- namely that a couple of agents have been interviewed and stated that at least a couple of UNC players had solicited money from them. This isn’t the kind of stuff you can just make up. Its what agents have confirmed to reporters and allegedly to NCAA investigators also.

One other distinction that you should take note of. The NCAA didn’t come to Bama’s campus in a formal investigation. Dareus returned to Bama, called Saban, who called in Bama’s compliance dept, called and self reported the potential violation to the NCAA and the SEC. The compliance dept interviewed Dareus and passed on all info to the NCAA.

In UNC’s case the NCAA came to the campus to conduct a formal investigation. There was no self reporting. The NCAA is also probing not one but 5 UNC players. Big difference when the NCAA comes to your campus to do a formal investigation as opposed to having you just report back to them on what you found out may have been a potential violation. Huge difference. Also, the NCAA is going back to UNC to investigate more. Big difference. These aren’t opinions or rumors. These are the facts of what is going on. Sorry if you just don’t like them.


August 7th, 2010
3:27 pm

Tampa gator,

You should check your own grammar and spelling before spouting off about others not learning the English language.

Delbert D.

August 7th, 2010
3:40 pm

TampaGator – Grossman did finish 2nd in the Heisman voting in 2001 as a soph.

Big D Dawg

August 8th, 2010
1:44 am

where’s the days to football kickoff countdown on the AJC sports site?


August 8th, 2010
3:02 am

That’s too bad. I was hoping Michigan would remain bad.

Best of Atlanta

August 8th, 2010
6:36 am

Go Yellow Jackets !

No Practice

August 8th, 2010
6:40 am

Twitter? No. Agents and other assorted lowlife, including professional autograph hounds at practices killed open practices.


August 8th, 2010
6:55 am

Garcia and company are going to roll against this new UGA 3-4. They have a nasty and deep defense. Question Spurrier all you want, he just hasn’t had the players. He’s got them now and I think that OL is going to be much improved. Could finally be their year.

Hunker Down !

August 8th, 2010
8:41 am

Steve Spurrier is 0-4 against the Georgia Bulldogs playing in Columbia, South Carolina.


August 8th, 2010
10:55 am

No one is questioning Steve Spurrier’s ability to coach a team. Personally, I just like to make fun of the visor-throwing, grimacing, jackarse. I will say this if UGA had hired the Dark Lord, Spurrier, I would love that visor-throwing, grimacing, jackarse. On the other hand, if UGA had hired Meyer, I still wouldn’t like him. Again, I am not saying he is a crappy coach. There is just something about that guy’s personality that I don’t like. I the difference is that Spurrier makes no bones about being an arse, while Meyer will be an arse while acting righteous.

Is this of any consequence: NO! Do I think either man cares: NO!

so there is no reason for you to go researching stats to prove to us that they are good coaches. We get it! Either get the joke or develop a sense of humor.


August 8th, 2010
10:58 am

Another thing we get: USC will have a tough team this year, and that game is going to be a slugfest. Garcia is solid and apparently improved physically. From what I understand, it is the mental quickness that is his hang up. I am interested to see if UGA will be ready to bring the stunts and how that will affect Garcia.

Tide Rising

August 8th, 2010
1:41 pm


I did read that Garcia hit the physical conditioning pretty hard after Spurrier called him out and he’s dropped 10 lbs. Much leaner, faster, probably a quicker release and quicker reaction time.

As for the dark lord I used to really hate Spurrier when he was at Florida but that was mainly because he was beating us and everyone else. But I have to admit I did love the way he rankled Fulmer at UT and always thought it was funny when he razzed Georgia too. Since he left Florida I’ve become somewhat of a Spurrier fan and root for Carolina a lot. The facial expressions, the visor throwing, the grimaces, the punking of Lane Kiffin in the elevator at SEC media days, the guy has personality and so now I enjoy watching him when I can. Believe or not when he retires I think even those people who dislike Spurrier will miss seeing him on the sidelines.


August 8th, 2010
3:52 pm

Agree 100% with everything you said (except the part about liking him razzing UGA). We all need our nemesis or a folk villain of sorts. That’s where the fun talk comes in. Honestly, like you, i have become a bit of fan of him since he went to USC. I think you have to have a certain amount of respect for a guy who did what he did at UF and went to the pros, then took over a struggling program. The guy obviously loves the game.


August 8th, 2010
4:05 pm

MEMO TO UGA: AD Damon Evans wants dawg nation to Remember in 2010 its all about “red & black pride”…so…Don’t forget to proudly wave your pair of red panties at kick off – courtesy of the ever so classy Courtney Furhmann !!!!


August 8th, 2010
10:22 pm

?Maisel? recently stated on ESPN that he expects UNC will soon get good news about Marvin Austin.
The tape of this is available by goodling.

ummmmm fact

August 9th, 2010
2:01 am

I have meet a few diff students from WVU during and after PACMAN JONES was a layer there… Biggest WEED DEALER on CAMPUS

ummmmm fact

August 9th, 2010
2:01 am

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