Closed Practice

August 5, 2008

Yesterday at 6:00PM Cal’s training camp opened.  Unfortunately, our only exposure to the camp is through the eyes of Jonathan Okanes – who provided excellent reporting on day one of camp.  Unlike counterparts USC and UCLA, Tedford closes practice to the public and even limits media access.

Presumably, Tedford doesn’t want opposing team scouts to infiltrate Memorial Stadium.  I call bullshit.  Ted Miller is right when he says “No team in the history of college football has ever won or lost a game based on its open-closed practice policy.”

Early in Tedford’s tenure Cal was outgunned on the field.  After years of average to below average recruiting, Cal was often overmatched.  Tedford won with scheme and guile.  Now, Cal compiles excellent recruiting classes eyar in and year out.  Every year Cal has multiple players on preseason award watch lists.  Concerns about spying are a bit muted now that the playing field has leveled somewhat.

I don’t expect these practices to be heavily attended.  A couple thousand attended the open spring practice and only about 75 attended Arizona State’s first day of training camp.  Still, openness enhances the experience for fans and if college football is for anyone other than the student athletes and their families, it’s about the alumni and fans that have stood with this program through too many years of mediocrity.

In any case, football is finally back.