Georgia Tech will close practices

Following an unfortunate trend in college athletics, Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson has decided to close all football practices to the media and public.
The Yellow Jackets begin practice on Thursday.
Practices were open throughout August during Johnson’s first season two years ago. The first two weeks were open last season.
Johnson isn’t the first coach to walk down this path. Mark Richt at Georgia has closed their practices, for example.
But it does strike me as odd.
In a business that is growingly full of contol-focused men, Johnson has always had a refreshingly practical view of the job and sport.
He also has seemingly never been concerned about other’s views of him or his offense, saying things like “it doesn’t matter what system, it’s about beating the guy in front of you,” or “they’ve got 20 years of film, and they haven’t stopped it yet.”
No reason was given, but I’m sure Johnson will be asked on Thursday.
I would assume that growing social-media trend (youtube, twitter facebook, blogs) is a factor in his decision.
Do you care that practices are closed?

165 comments Add your comment

Ken Adams

August 3rd, 2010
11:05 am

No. There is some advantage in the element of surprise. If others are closing practice sessions, why shouldn’t we?

jkt4life

August 3rd, 2010
11:06 am

If it helps get more wins, more power to him. It’s his team/job!

GMan

August 3rd, 2010
11:11 am

Steady GT Fan

August 3rd, 2010
11:16 am

A closed practice allows you to try new things, work out the problems, try it again, get better and prepare for the season. New things will work well as long as they work within a good system, but sometime it takes time to get them to work within the system. I like it.

Golden Tornado

August 3rd, 2010
11:18 am

Something new is brewing.Shotgun maybe?

THWG

August 3rd, 2010
11:19 am

I think if you are going to play with the big boys, you gotta act like the big boys. Close them, and close them for good. GO PJ!!!

WreckIt

August 3rd, 2010
11:20 am

I hear it’s so we can practice running a new fangled play that’s going to revolutionize the game. My sources in the Institute say that Coach calls it the “forward pass.” Sounds like the devil’s voodoo to me.

AtWork

August 3rd, 2010
11:23 am

I don’t it amounts to anything. Maybe a reporter said something to him to tick him off and they ruined it for everyone else. Could be that he wants to try something different. I don’t think if affects anything except the people trying to report from camp.

Less distractions and more focus is all i see.

dawgfansmakemelaugh

August 3rd, 2010
11:23 am

I don’t care a bit. I’m sure he is doing what he thinks is best for the team and the school.

AtWork

August 3rd, 2010
11:24 am

I don’t THINK* it…

Doug Roberson

August 3rd, 2010
11:26 am

So this assumption is that Georgia Tech didn’t try anything new the past couple of years? That seemed to do OK with them some of the practices being open.

snapshot

August 3rd, 2010
11:28 am

As they should be.

Paul in RDU

August 3rd, 2010
11:31 am

After the agent issues at UNC, SC, etc. I don’t blame CPJ for closing practices

gt

August 3rd, 2010
11:33 am

Do you care if we win or lose? If PJ thinks practice should be closed it is generally believed it is for the good of the team. What the press fails to tell us is many times this has nothing to do with secrets, the poor football team can’t run its plays because the reporters and such think the players are cattle and need to be right in the middle of them as the run pass patterns or whatever else. There is a fine line between cheap entertainment and journalism with the sport’s media. They take the protections of the press, the perks of a fat man, and the income of an entertainer and then report a violation of the press as if they were serious reporters in the battle fields of Iraq, weeks on end.

beauvighn

August 3rd, 2010
11:37 am

It is not so much someone seeing a particular play or scheme that you might run but if a player is injured during practice or is in a non contact jersey, that would be all over the internet for your opponent to see. This way PJ can control a lot of information and mis-information that may give an opponent a slight advantage.

aztec

August 3rd, 2010
11:37 am

aztecs also have closed practics, not that anyone would show up anyway.

VegasGT

August 3rd, 2010
11:39 am

He’s the coach and the person ultimately responsible for wins and losses. If he wants practices closed, so be it. Do I really care? NO.

I would think the pros of closed practices far outweigh the cons. Eliminate potential distractions, keep things secret you want to keep secret (strengths and weaknesses), emphasizes FOCUS. he only real con I can think of is keeping the press happy and feeling like they are a part of the team/environment, smoothing their egos a bit, but there are other ways to accomplish that.

Given the offensive style, changes to personnel and the defensive change, I would have to believe that closed practices are more about focus than anything else.

bobbydoddsghost

August 3rd, 2010
11:40 am

What Would Damon Do?

wondering

August 3rd, 2010
11:42 am

so does this means that Tech fans shouldn’t complain when they feel like they’re not getting the media coverage they think they should get?

little honey bee from the hood

August 3rd, 2010
11:42 am

uh oh.

its obvious that he doesnt want people outside of the programto see just how bad they SUCK this coming year.

GO GA STATE!!!!!

Tech82

August 3rd, 2010
11:43 am

In the world of YouTube I’m surprised ANY school opens their practices. Programs have too much to lose and nothing to gain by opening practices.

Cuttysark

August 3rd, 2010
11:43 am

How many people are allowed to show up at anyone’s place of employment? Maybe at a PTA conference. I think that Coach Paul Johnson can run his organization anyway he chooses. He is the CEO and we can see the finished product once the season begins on September 4, 2010 at Bobby Dodd Stadium. For more Georgia Tech Football articles go to http://isportsweb.com. Go Jackets!

Dave from GT

August 3rd, 2010
11:45 am

Red panties syndrome.

Robert

August 3rd, 2010
11:46 am

I am with the coach 100%. It is sad for me personaly, because I had always planned on attending a lot of Tech football practices when I retired. Well, I retired in February, so my long time plans are down the drain. I blame it on people being unable to watch practice and keep it a secret. They seem to want to be the one who scoops the world on what the team is doing. Shame on them.

StingerSplash

August 3rd, 2010
11:52 am

When Paul was at Georgia Southern, the practice fields were right next to the busiest intersection in town. You could watch practice from your car at the traffic signal (and yes, there is more than one in the Boro). A lot of the older supporters and fans would be there to watch, every day, and if someone missed a practice — a fan, not a player — they heard about it from the other fans the next day. They also kept watch, seeing if anybody looked out of place or unfamiliar. They were very protective of their Eagles.
But closing them at Southern wasn’t exactly an option, either. Logistically, it wasn’t that simple, unless he wanted to go to the stadium to practice.

Doug Roberson

August 3rd, 2010
11:52 am

vegas gt….egos don’t have if anything to do with it. It’s more about providing information to you, the fans.

Stinger

August 3rd, 2010
11:53 am

Good decision. We don’t want the enemies to know what hit them. Paul Johsnon is the man.

WDE

August 3rd, 2010
11:53 am

Do we really need to have reporters at practice? When you think about it- where is the sense in that at all? It is all about hyping your team- and guess what, PJ has never cared one anyone said or thinks. It’s why we win and it’s the personality of GT football, for better-or-worse.

I think it’s pretty B.A. that he closed practices, it removes a bunch of distractions. All that ever comes out of practice reporting is speculation, and there’s no point in having your players reading that stuff online. Build the program mindset the way you want to as coach.

Doug Roberson

August 3rd, 2010
12:00 pm

I would be curious what speculation you’ve seen reported…

George

August 3rd, 2010
12:01 pm

If closing practice will help, do it! I tire of the mindless dribble about training camp reporting anyway. It doesn’t matter till it matters! And right now, it doesn’t matter.

GTax

August 3rd, 2010
12:03 pm

OK GA STATE Fan,

I am a GSU alum. and a GT football fan and a GSU fan soon, but come on, let’s not even get on a Tech or UGA blog until we have played some football. GT doesn’t affect GSU this year and won’t for a long time. GSU has no bragging right whatsoever over Tech or UGA for that matter. Best to keep it inside.

Ted

August 3rd, 2010
12:10 pm

If a single GT opponent closes their practice, then we should too.

POAD

August 3rd, 2010
12:15 pm

It is football not an attack on a Taliban stronghold. Let people see practice.

YoungDawg

August 3rd, 2010
12:18 pm

Practices should be closed. He’s probably making this move so that the new D & wrinkles on O are not reported on. He’s adding the shotgun & possibly other things to the O, they showed some of it in the Spring Game, therefore closing practices forces teams to at least prepare for that possibility.

DogDo

August 3rd, 2010
12:25 pm

Southern Cal used to have a “Y’ll come” policy for practices; the more, the better. When the axe fell, the first thing they did was close the practices. Good policy. Too many idiots, agents, and enemies out there to invite them in. We’ll show everyone what we can do (#1 rushing offense) on game day.

GT BABY

August 3rd, 2010
12:32 pm

GT BABY

August 3rd, 2010
12:33 pm

WHY ISNT ANYBODY TALKING ABOUT THE 6′6″ WIDE RECEIVER WE JUST GOT OVER THE WEEKEND??? LOOK UP THE NEXT CALVIN JOHNSON……JEFF GREENE!

wombat

August 3rd, 2010
12:33 pm

I care, but I don’t care so much that I’ll call the GTAA to object. It’s his team, and things are a whole lot different than just 10 years ago.

Techwreck

August 3rd, 2010
12:35 pm

Rumor has it that Tech now is practicing the tickle piles naked…therefore the practices are now closed.

TXDawg

August 3rd, 2010
12:36 pm

GT Baby – Maybe because your offense doesn’t necessarily mean much to receivers, unless Nesbitt is throwing a desperation pass because the run is stuffed.

kevin

August 3rd, 2010
12:36 pm

Maybe they are trying to install an arm that works on Nesbitt.

Bungle Bee

August 3rd, 2010
12:41 pm

There closing practice in anticipation of playing in front of no one on game day, LOL, here comes the RAID bug fans, the beat down is gonna be great, remember 51-7 bugs? BUWHAAAAAAAAA!

Tech Fan Since 1950

August 3rd, 2010
12:43 pm

There is no such thing as a closed practice at Georgia Tech, unless Tech ever builds an indoor practice facility or works out at the Georgia Dome. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out formations viewed from the countless skyscrapers surrounding the Tech campus. Look all you want to world, you are not going to stop the Triple Option (or Quadruple with Shotgun) or penetrate the 3-4 Defense on a regular basis.

St. Clarrkston

August 3rd, 2010
12:44 pm

No one observing practice? It’ll be just like a home game. Tech will struggle to make ends meet financially with no UGA home game this year.

Bungle Bee

August 3rd, 2010
12:46 pm

No I got it, they’re closing practice because their afraid some HS will steal the GT offensive scheme, LOL!

Bungle Bee

August 3rd, 2010
12:47 pm

C-cup Johnson lost his bra!

bb

August 3rd, 2010
12:50 pm

It’s a good move. There is way too much information in todays world. Sometimes too much information is a problem. With the internet, blogs, twitter, etc., etc. there is way to much made of every play and move in practices.

It’s practice for heavens sake. The players should have to worry about every play being over-analyzed by, maybe or maybe not well-meaning, fans and media.

The AJC can’t and shouldn’t use this as an accuse to ignore GT (though they probably will). There is plenty of coverage today in the AJC on UGA’s opening of practice, which has been pointed out is closed.

GT BABY

August 3rd, 2010
12:59 pm

txdawg- thats why we put the number 1 receiver in the nfl last year, you f&*king idiot!

Bob in SF

August 3rd, 2010
1:04 pm

As some have mentioned already, I think we’re going to see some shotgun installed during that time. The concepts of the shotgun spread option are very similar to what they already do, I don’t think it will be much of a stretch to insert that formation.

GT Alum

August 3rd, 2010
1:06 pm

Anyone consider that it’s Al Groh who wants this? Did Groh do this at UVA?