Jeremy Bloom was on the field and practicing with his Colorado teammates Monday as the team went through the first of its preseason practices. The two-sport star has been granted the OK to practice while he awaits a ruling from the NCAA that could make him eligible to play in the 2004 season — a surprise move. "> Jeremy Bloom was on the field and practicing with his Colorado teammates Monday as the team went through the first of its preseason practices. The two-sport star has been granted the OK to practice while he awaits a ruling from the NCAA that could make him eligible to play in the 2004 season — a surprise move. ">

Bloom Practices While Awaiting NCAA Word

He may have felt a little rusty, but <a href="http://scout.theinsiders.com/a.z?s=148&p=8&c=1&nid=40022">Jeremy Bloom</a> was on the field and practicing with his Colorado teammates Monday as the team went through the first of its preseason practices. The two-sport star has been granted the OK to practice while he awaits a ruling from the NCAA that could make him eligible to play in the 2004 season — a surprise move.

A week ago, Bloom filed paperwork with the NCAA, asking that he be granted eligibility to play in 2004. Earlier in the year, Bloom had decided to take endorsement money from companies in order to sponsor his quest for a Gold Medal in the 2006 Olympics.

Bloom said the cost of remaining competitive in freestyle skiing, where he hopes to medal, demanded he begin making money through endorsements.

However, the NCAA does not allow student-athletes to make money from endorsements — even if it isn't from the sport they participate in for a given university — and retain eligibilty.

While just months ago it seemed highly unlikely that the NCAA would change its tune in Bloom's case, the junior wide receiver had a strikingly positive tone Monday when talking about his future as a Buff and about his plans for the Olympics.

Asked about his long term plans, Bloom responded: "After this season I'll have a whole season to get ready for the Olympics, with a possible redshirt year, and then come back after that and play my senior year. A lot of that depends on how the Olympics go and if I want to come back for my senior year, or just try for the NFL."

The NCAA asked for some follow-up paperwork from Bloom, and he faxed it to them Monday. Bloom said he thought a ruling from the NCAA could come as early as Tuesday.

Head coach Gary Barnett was a bit more cautious, saying he thought it would take as long as a week to have a final ruling. But he had a much more positive outlook than the one he adopted this past spring, when the Buffs were going ahead as if Bloom wouldn't be allowed to play.

"I just think both sides probably ended up deciding this was the best thing for college football, and both sides are probably bending a little bit," Barnett said, when asked why he thought the NCAA might be having a change of heart. "I don't know the details of it; that's speculation, but that's what it feels like."

First Day Feels Good
CU went through a full-squad practice in helmets and no pads. After not being allowed to coach this spring while on paid administrative leave, Barnett said it was good to get out there and blow the coach's whistle.

"It was a good, spirited practice, as you would expect," he said. "I think everybody's just happy to get on the field and get back to what we really enjoy doing. That includes me.

"When this is your life, it's always great to get back out there with the guys."

While Bloom is allowed to practice, true freshman Josh Hunt is not. Hunt has not qualified academically, and CU has appealed to the NCAA. Barnett said he would address the situation at Tuesday's Media Day.

DLine
Barnett said that no plans were in the works to move anyone else to defensive line other than junior John Guydon, who has been moved back from offensive line where he practiced in the spring. The unit took a hit when Chadd Evans decided to transfer recently.

New Faces
Asked how the newcomers looked in their first practice in CU uniforms, Barnett said, "Both young receivers (Patrick Williams and Reggie Joseph) caught my eye."

Injuries
First day injuries included kicker J.T. Eberly and LB Chad Cusworth. HIPPA rules mandated that Barnett could not disclose the nature of the injuries, but Eberly was wearing a lower leg brace. It is believed both injuries are serious enough to where both players will be out for a significant time. Senior DT Brandon Dabdoub, who missed spring with a torn pec muscle, was full speed Monday, but the team plans to take it slow with him once they get into pads.


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