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.

Please follow me on Twitter:

www.twitter.com/MrCFB

180 comments Add your comment

Browndog

August 6th, 2010
7:54 am

Golden Tornado

August 6th, 2010
8:03 am

Tony…When does the Southern Football Kickoff Show start on 790?

Dennis

August 6th, 2010
8:06 am

Agree 100% on the Big Ten title game location.

The ACC game has become a debacle and finally it should have a home in Charlotte.

When the game is in a rotating location, it loses it’s luster and the ability to generate momentum in the local business community. Just look at the lack of sell-out contests the ACC has had the past five years.

Greensboro, GA

August 6th, 2010
8:06 am

.
Nesbitt for Heisman
.

17 of 20

August 6th, 2010
8:09 am

The Gators are #3 in the coach’s poll, and they have a game against #1. They will be # 1 after that game. Florida has better coaches and better players this year.

Dink

August 6th, 2010
8:10 am

Tony, been hearing Rich Rod has a divided team over the Wolvie’s QB. One camp behind Forcier and the other behind Robinson. Can’t be good for any team and coach, especially a struggling one.

Go Dawgs!

[...] 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 [...]

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

August 6th, 2010
8:14 am

what about Detroit for the Big Ten championship game??

Mikey in SAV

August 6th, 2010
8:21 am

Tony,

It’s kinda funny how your headline asks if twitter killed open practices and the last sentence in your column asks us to follow you on twitter.

ATLBadger

August 6th, 2010
8:28 am

While I’d love to see the Big Ten Championship game be in Chicago at Soldier Field because Chicago is a great stage to have the game on, Indianapolis does know how to hold large sports events, Lucas Oil Stadium is great, and it’s convenient for a lot of fans.

TampaGator

August 6th, 2010
8:32 am

I think the Big Ten title game should be in Omaha in a snow blizzard every year. That way, it would be interesting to watch…the snow blizzard at least.

SECisFootball

August 6th, 2010
8:32 am

17 of 20…..No doubt Florida can win that game against BAMA but I have no idea where you see that UF has better coaches and players. Take the blinders off my friend. Besides….you can have the #1 ranking now if it means that much to you. I would rather be ranked #1 at the end of the year.

Beast from the East

August 6th, 2010
8:35 am

1…..I think most should close their practices. There’s just no way to be the “cellphone police”. The coaches have more important things to worry about.
2…..The sooner this “agent-gate” deal is over the better. They’ll have to sit these kids if they cannot get a definitive answer before the first game, as they cannot risk having to go back and forfiet the game later.
3…..That was always my only knock on Spurrier while at UF. He can really erode a QB’s confidence if they aren’t mentally tough enough. Dannyboy was the only one I saw who could just brush it off.
4…..They might as well just play it at OSU. Does anyone really think they’ll not be in it every year?
5…..Rich Rod is starting to sound a little like Calipari. He leaves every program in a mess before bolting. How long until he is forced out?

Only 4 more weeks before we get this thing started!
Go Gators!

Left to Right

August 6th, 2010
8:39 am

BEWARE VOL BOOSTERS SPREADING MONEY AROUND IN GEORGIA.

Funny things happening with players being recruited by the Vols and AD Hamilton is fighting to save his job.

TampaGator

August 6th, 2010
8:39 am

Tony….

Urban Myer stated yesterday that he closed Florida’s practices to increase the security around the players….from agents (and I would assume the runners for the agents). It was interesting, in one of the photos of Meyer at the press confernece, there were about a dozen cells phones laying on the table in front of him. Technology has made our world…and college football….a different world to co-exist properly in.

#2 BAMA FAN

August 6th, 2010
8:40 am

17 of 20 you are playing in Tuscaloosa and get ready for another beat down from the crimson tide!! The last time the gators played in T-town Mike Shula was coaching the crimson tide and UF got blasted by the red elephants, just think want Saban will do to your team this time!!RTR

RAMBLE ON!!!

August 6th, 2010
8:42 am

Will Barak Obama win the Heisman this year?

Civi Dawg

August 6th, 2010
8:42 am

17-20, One could have made the argument that Florida had better coaches a year ago, but Florida is going to struggle initially on defense without Strong. I don’t know why it took him so long to get a head coaching job, but that guy can coach defense lights out.

TommyJack

August 6th, 2010
8:43 am

Real men don’t twitter or face-book.

TampaGator

August 6th, 2010
8:47 am

Beast from the East….

If you aren’t mentally tought enough….your confidence will be eroded anyway by your play on the football field. Spurrier always found out who his best QB…mentally and physically….was (and he always had a good selection of QBs at Florida) and played him. Trouble is, he does not have the depth and talent at SC that he had at Florida. And Spurrier made Danny W. into the college QB he was….and without Spurrier…Danny would have never won the Heisman. And he had a long list of successful college QBs….so I think any knock on Spurrier with his QBs is highly unjustified…..and TONY KNOWS IT. Obviously, what he is doing to make Garcia (who has always been a lazy slug) a better player is working.

TheTaxJacket

August 6th, 2010
8:47 am

*** Nesbitt for Heismen ***

(((( 45 – 42 ))))

Left to Right

August 6th, 2010
8:49 am

BAMA ALREADY OVER THE LIMIT ON SCHOLARSHIPS FOR 2010, KICKING OUT PLAYERS ALREADY ON SCHOLARSHIP FOR “FRESH BLOOD”

When will the unethical signing practices of BAMA (and LSU) get any serious coverage? As documented by Oversigning.com,, both football programs are running off kids already on scholarship to “fit” the latest class of recruits in.

Is the MSM afraid to take on the big boys? Worried about losing access?

And it’s a problem that isn’t going away. To quote from the linked article:

“The interesting part is that Alabama only has 9 scholarship players on their roster, and with two guys greyshirting this year that leaves only 7 openings for next year plus the juniors that leave for the NFL. Alabama currently has 16 verbal commitments for next year, so much like LSU, they are already over the limit and we will see the exact same thing next year that we have seen this year.”

http://oversigning.com/testing/index.php/2010/08/04/saban-gets-down-to-85-on-the-last-day/

RxDawg

August 6th, 2010
8:50 am

1. Twitter and Facebook have put everyone under the microscope. I’m fairly young and I’ve resisted joining or using either one of these internet based social tools. Sure they have good point, but something makes me uneasy inside about how everything about everyone is just out there. I guess I still like my privacey. Heck, I miss not having a cell phone glued to my hip.

2. LSU will beat North Caroline regardless if Austin plays or not. Bama and Penn St will be a good game.

3. Garcia has always been just a middle of the pack QB. If it’s going to come together for him, now is the time.

4. Indy makes sense and is what most people thought would happen. I’m sure Delaney is just talking the “talk” to make sure the city of Indy caters to them. That said if Indy doesn’t and someone else does then you gota go where your teams and fans are taken care of the best.

5. I predict Rich Rod will be a sucessful head coach….at a school not named Michigan. There is just too much mud since he’s been up there. Unless they have a 10 win season or knock OSU off their Big 10 hill, he’s gone after this year. One can only wonder what life would be like if he was still at WVU. Never the less, Rich Rod has proven to be a good on the field coach, he’ll wind up laying low for a year or two and come back with another mid-tier/has-been school and do well.

Man, 27 days till the first kick off….it’s so close!

Dooley the Vol

August 6th, 2010
8:50 am

left to right, wtf be a bit more specific.

I am not going to be the head coach at Alabama. I am the head coach of the Miami Dolphins.

August 6th, 2010
8:51 am

I agree with the comment of no cell phones for media- unreasonable. What are you going to do? Frisk everyone? Install a metal detector? I enjoy reading the practice notes online, but totally understand banning the media.

Agentgate, pls just go away.
Looks like a long year for RichRod.

Ron Mexico

August 6th, 2010
8:52 am

What is the over under going to be at the Michigan-Connecticut game on number of times Randy Edsall is mentioned as a leading candidate to replace Rich Rod after his firing later this year? I’ll say four.

The Big 10 is not the ACC, and won’t have a problem if they rotate the site of the championship game in Chicago and even Detroit. Penn St is nearly 300 miles closer to Chicago than Boston College is to Charlotte; the teams in the Big 10 that make the game will travel – just like they do for bowl games.

TheTaxJacket

August 6th, 2010
8:54 am

Left to Right,

Oh pshaw. It’s a total coincidence all these players are suddenly leaving Bama to get them down to 85. Have you ever heard a single player come out against Saban and claim that they were “cut” from the team? It would totally be in their best interests to cheese off Saban and the Bama power brokers and ruin their football careers. That oversigning site is a joke, right Bama fans? Saban is a peach of a guy.

TampaGator

August 6th, 2010
8:56 am

CiviDawg

….Strong was a proven DC…but he learned a lot from Meyer and became a better defensice and overall coach because of Meyer’s leadership skills. Strong struggle big time under Ron Zook…as many assistant coaches both at Florida and Illinois have. Austin, the new DC at Florida, already has a great working relationship with Meyer and the Gators D in 2010 will not be too dissimilar from what you have seen in recent years…and they are loaded with strong, fast, and athletic players, 2 and 3 deep at every defensive position (which doesn’t hurt). And I think it will be the defensive depth and overall difference in defensive talent at Florida that will make a difference in the Georgia game this year. Georgia has some very talented skill players on offense to play with the Gators, but I think Florida has much better players the defensive side of the ball…and that will be the slight difference in the game….in my opinion of course. And I am sure you have another….but as Tony said….please keep it a clean….and also…intelligent response.

CrimsonCarl

August 6th, 2010
8:56 am

Thank you RichRod for deciding not to come to Bama

Big Bad Buckeye

August 6th, 2010
8:57 am

WOW OSU is #2. They play 1 game – against USC – which will be down this year and then play nobody else and will surely be in the MNC because of a lousy schedule. Meanwhile FLA and AL play each other and many other crucial games including again in the SECCG. WTF is it with the OSU bias.

BTW GO DAWGS!!

UFfan

August 6th, 2010
8:57 am

Bama got lucky last year, noway they beat us twice in a row, ain’t gonna happen.BOOK IT

Big time?? Not

August 6th, 2010
8:58 am

Four tickets, four hot dogs, four cokes

Jim Doanan as in Doans Pills

August 6th, 2010
9:03 am

I understand Garcia has looked good in the few practices that the chickens have held. He has lost weight and has worked on his release of the football which now has more zip. Dawgs better win in Columbia or could be staring down 3rd place in the SEC east.

TheTaxJacket

August 6th, 2010
9:05 am

2010 preseason coaches poll:

GT: 17
UGAg: 21

(((( 17 – 21 ))))

FBfan

August 6th, 2010
9:05 am

For SC watch true freshman Conner Shaw from FB high, he had great numbers and is ranked 14th in the nation as D/T qb!!!!!!!! Great work ethics also.

TampaGator

August 6th, 2010
9:05 am

If Bama was doing anything illegal with recruiting….Mike Slive would be all over the Tide for it. Also…if they were “cutting” recruits unfairly…the long term impact would be highly negative on their program…as many recruits would hear about it and stop going to Bama…or whomever is said to be doing it. Most schools “cut” players in the offseason to make room for recruiting the next year. Florida had several players “leave” the program this year. They were not cutting it on the football field and/or in the classroom. Players know that, if they don’t make it on the field or classroom, they will lost their scholarships. It is understood…and it is done….by everyone. It is how you compete and stay competitive. You don’t want to keep the dude recruits on your team for 4 years if they are not performing to expected SEC standards. Release them from their scholarships and let them go play at Georgia State or SW Missour State. It happens all the time.

UGA Recruits

August 6th, 2010
9:08 am

5 Stars
4 DUI’s
3 Arrests
2 Pair of red panties
1 Thanksgiving Beatdown in Athens
0 Championships

Book It

TampaGator

August 6th, 2010
9:08 am

FBfan….

Spurrier stated at the SEC press conference that he is highly impressed with Conner Shaw…and him being on campus has helped motivate Garcia…and that SC finally has a second QB that Spurrier is not hesitate to put into the game. He is kind of small however.

George Stein

August 6th, 2010
9:09 am

I actually think RichRod is getting a nice laugh about the investigation at WVU.

Hillarious comment, Big time. Very original.

Rational Citizen

August 6th, 2010
9:09 am

Would you rather see marijuana, gambling, and other victimless vices legalized and taxed in order to raise revenue, or have income, sales, property, etc. taxes go up?

George Stein

August 6th, 2010
9:13 am

That depends, Rational Citizen, on whether or not tax payers will also have to foot the bill for the rehabilitation services for the addicts.

The other question I might ask you is why we need additional revenue. Do what most people do and make do on less.

TampaGator

August 6th, 2010
9:14 am

I have been posting to all Dawg fans who have been ranting about beating the Gators…etc….that South Carolina is currently a much bigger game. It will possibly be a make or break game for the Dawgs. Spurrier’s team is going to be a challenge….it all depends on their OL play. Their defense is as good as anyone’s in the conference…including Alabama. And their freshman RB is very good and very fast. Teams will have to respect SC’s running game this year…and they have some outstanding receivers….possibly one of the best at WR and at TE. So Dawg fans….you should stop fretting about the Gators right now and focus more on beating SC. That is your big game right now. Funny…the only game comment coming out of the mouths of Floirda players….is Miami of Ohio. That is the right focus. Trying to beat Florida in November now will get you beat in September soon.

jasperite

August 6th, 2010
9:15 am

The coaches closing practices is tough on the reporters but they have no one to blame but themselves.

Eat and Tweet

August 6th, 2010
9:15 am

I dont know about banning tweets from practices but I sure did enjoy Jeff Owens regular tweets from the pancake house and Kentucky Fried Chicken last year. No wonder he was getting tired in the 3rd.

TheTaxJacket

August 6th, 2010
9:18 am

TampaGator,

That’s because it’s not an illegal practice. Just unethical. There’s a reason Urban Meyer has made a point in the past of saying “We don’t overrecruit at Florida,” even though that might not be the case.

The practice of “cutting” players and massively overrecruiting is most certainly not done by “everyone.” Certainly, all programs have the occasional players who leave for various reasons, but this typically does not happen under the environment of having to cut a certain number of scholarships in order to “get down to the number” by fall practice, which is exactly what happens, to a superlative extent, every year at Saban’s Bama. This puts more ethical coaches at a disadvantage, as when they have natural attrition, they do not have the extra players to fill out their rosters.

And even if everyone did it, that doesn’t make it OK. When a school gives a scholarship and commitment to a player, it needs to stick with it. It is not the player’s fault if he doesn’t pan out to what the coaches were expecting on the football field. That blame falls squarely on the coaches who misevaluated the player.

Paddy

August 6th, 2010
9:18 am

Dr Ken…..once upon a time Detriot was a great city and fans would have enjoyed coming there for a game. Not any more! If a poll was conducted for possible sites for the Big 10 Championship even Cleveland would get more votes than Detroit. But my vote would be Chicago! Now that is a great city!

Rational Citizen

August 6th, 2010
9:20 am

To George Stein…to your first question I say this: rehab for marijuana?

And we need additional revenue because in case you haven’t noticed we’re not only $12 TRILLION in the red, which WILL have to be repaid at some point, but we’re also in the middle of the worst recession since the Great Depression. “Making do with less” is a quaint notion, but it’s not a realistic solution to the problems facing our nation.

KR

August 6th, 2010
9:21 am

1. I don’t Twitter, so I am not qualified to comment.

2. The NCAA will work at their own pace. I wouldn’t expect to hear anything from them until much closer to the start of the season.

3. Garcia will get the love once he shows it on the field. Until then, he’s just been a guy who shows potential but hasn’t quite delivered on it.

4. My opinion is that keeping the championship game in one location is a good idea, IF that location is a good one. The SEC CG was well served by moving it from Legion Field to the Georgia Dome.

5. ‘Bama fans everywhere should offer up a quiet prayer of thanks that Rodriguez turned them down.

Beast from the East

August 6th, 2010
9:22 am

TampaGator,
I understand what you’re saying about Spurrier and the toughness factor, but in my opinion he went overboard with his public criticism of the QB’s on several occasions. We have to remember that these are college kids….not seasoned professional athletes.
I guess it’s just a difference of opinion.

RxDawg

August 6th, 2010
9:24 am

Tampa, I agree 100%. The Gators are a far far afterthought for me at this point. USC and Arkansas is certainly on the front of this Dawg’s mind. In fact, at this point I’m more concerned with Miss St. than UF. Our supposed “easy” SEC slate isn’t starting to look so “easy”.