Victims of closed practices
Bob Stoops was asked yesterday why he closes practice, what’s the benefit, and Stoops gave what I thought was a very good answer. He said he wasn’t sure there was a benefit, also said he wasn’t sure that was benefit to keeping practices open, but just feels like it’s better for a young player to not get reamed out by coaches while perhaps hundreds of eyes aren’t watching.
That’s certainly a legitimate concern. But here’s another side of the story. I chatted with one of my wife’s co-workers yesterday. Her husband I’ve known on a very elementary level for two decades. Huge, huge OU football fan.One of those guys that really knows the team. I don’t mean he knows or cares what kind of car Austin English drives, but the fan knows the depth situation at linebacker. Knows who’s the backup right guard. Knows the names of all the new recruits.
This fan recently retired and is bummed out by the timing. Last August and this August, he’s finally got the time to follow the Sooners. Go to the two-a-day practices, watch and study, really take in each player’s strengths and abilities.
Except they’re closed. Closed practices are perceived as a shot at the media, and maybe they are. Certainly closed practices hurt some media, including even some Oklahoman writers. They don’t bother me. That means one less thing I have to do. One less place I have to be. As long as we get to talk to the players and coaches on a regular basis, I’m set.
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