On Friday, Texas coach Mack Brown closed his team's practices after people with cell phones were taking pictures of practice. When receiver Jordan Shipley was injured in Thursday's practice, The Austin American-Statesman took photos. According to an Associated Press report, the Austin paper had posted photos of Shipley online within 15 minutes of the injury.
"A parent should never have to read on the Internet or hear through the media that their son has been hurt before we can even get off the practice field and call them," Brown said in a released statement. "It's our responsibility to protect the privacy of our student-athletes with regard to injuries."
Brown said in a story on InsideTexas.com that he is also concerned about boosters of other programs video-taping UT practices and posting them on the web.
"I didn't realize until yesterday that they can take a cell phone, video parts of practice and put it on the internet immediately," Brown said in the InsideTexas.com story. "They can ship it anywhere in the league. We've got 10,000 active OU boosters here. And there's no telling how many Aggies."
Asked if he was concerned about a similar situation at Colorado, Barnett said he is.
"There are signs posted (banning the use of cell phones at practice)," Barnett said. "If we had something happen like what Mack (had happen), I'd feel exactly the same way."
Barnett indicated that he may close practices after next week, a week earlier than the Aug. 27 date that was originally planned to be the final open workout.
"We'll probably keep (practices) open next week and then close for the last two weeks before the season opens," he said. "You know, I'm leery of going on Rivals and seeing our practice on there. But until it's something that hurts us, something inappropriate, we'll keep (practices open)."
Barnett said nothing like what happened at Texas has occurred at CU this fall that he is aware of. However, word of Alex Ligon's injury spread quickly Tuesday morning and found its way first onto Netbuffs.com before the school's sports information department would officially release details.
On Friday, Barnett was generous with the 80 to 100 fans and media at practice, opening up the sidelines for people to get an up-close look at the team's situational scrimmage.
Link to UT story on InsideTexas.com: UT Will Close PracticesBillingsley officially eligible
All but two players who were in summer school are good to go for the season, Barnett said. The final two players, which he didn't name, are still waiting on test scores. But Barnett said safety J.J. Billingsley — who missed the spring for academic reasons — is cleared and eligible to play.
Washington back at it
Cornerback Vance Washington began practicing for the first time this fall, after it was initially thought he would wait until Aug. 22. Washington has to go through workouts in shorts, no pads, before getting into pads on Monday. …On Friday, Barnett — a former college wide receiver at Missouri — helped Washington start to get acclimated by running him through some receiver drills on one field while the rest of the team practiced on another. Asked if there was a budding Deon Sanders on the team, Barnett said, "probably not."
Barnett 5k run/walk on tap
The Gary Barnett Foundation's inaugural 5K run/walk will take place Saturday at 8:30 p.m. Registration costs $30 for adults, $15 for children, and proceeds will go to the foundation which aids area children and teens. Barnett said as of Thursday there were between 200 and 300 people signed up for the event, which begins and ends at Folsom Field. CU football players will be there to sign autographs afterwards.
Regular practice Saturday
The Buffs will conduct a regular practice Saturday from 4-6:25 p.m.
The HYPE (believe it or not)
The team began practice with a much better energy than Thursday evening's go. The entire squad — minus a few late additions, including running back Maurice Little — were in full pads.
A one-on-one drill between the linebackers and running backs got particularly competitive after running backs coach Shawn Simms got after his players. It was a blocking drill and the running backs were supposed to keep the linebackers away from a cone that signified the quarterback. V-back Lawrence Vickers was the only player consistently keeping the linebackers he faced at bay.
The pass offense scorched the pass defense in a 7-on-7 drill. Alvin Barnett, Dusty Sprague and Joe Klopfenstein caught balls in the end zone. But when the team added in both lines, the defense outplayed their counterparts.