Oklahoma football: Sooners still practice behind closed doors

Although some programs are loosening the rules and allowing fans in for workouts, OU remains shrouded in secrecy, partly because of changes on both sides of the ball.
by Ryan Aber Published: August 13, 2013

Other schools, even ones that have been much more closed than Oklahoma in recent years, have started opening things back up.

First-year Cal coach Sonny Dykes has opened all Bears practices to the public.

“We don't have any secrets,” Dykes said. “The thing is, people can watch our film. They can rewind it, fast forward it, make cutups, all that stuff. I don't know why you wouldn't want someone to be able to come and watch.”

Texas opened its first three practices this fall to the media, then opened the next three to fans.

“Our staff is so excited about this team and I want you to see them coach and see how hard they're working and what they're doing,” Brown said.

Like Stoops in 2009, other coaches had a change of heart after seeing their teams.

Arkansas' first scrimmage last Saturday was scheduled to be closed to outsiders.

But after seeing his team go through the opening days of practice, first-year Razorbacks coach Bret Bielema decided to open the session to Razorback fans.

“With the growth and development we have shown with our practices, we will open the scrimmage tomorrow to the media and public,” Bielema posted on Twitter in announcing the change.

The Sooners did hold an autograph session for children 14 and under earlier this month, though the crowds for that event were considerably less than in the past.

Louisville was set to have a similar event, but after helmets signed by quarterback Teddy Bridgewater showed up on eBay for more than $200, the school decided to cancel the event in light of the recent accusations against Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.

In its place, the Cardinals opened a practice instead.

Other prominent programs have held at least one open practice session, including Texas A&M and Florida.

by Ryan Aber
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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