Cougar Football Notebook

BEGINNING SUNDAY, Washington State's football program will do something unheard of on the Palouse – close football practices to the public and media. But rest assured that all is not lost. CF.C also has an injury update on offensive tackle Rico Forbes.

Practices at Washington State through Saturday are open to the media and public. But beginning Sunday, media can only be on the field for the first 15 minutes and then practices will be closed and remain closed throughout the season.

For Cougar fans who have grown accustomed to detail-heavy practice reports from CF.C there is no cause for worry. With the green light from Mike Leach, CF.C correspondent Joe Doyle will be heading to a high perch to observe the happenings on Rogers Field below.

Leach and the coaching staff will be available for interviews following practices early in the week, says WSU's sports information department, and CF.C will on those days then make our way back to the field with mic in hand. Players will not be made available for interviews following closed practices.

Thursday availability for Leach and the coaching staff may not be in the cards because of radio show commitments. Friday practices are simple walk-throughs when the Cougs are playing at home. (Over the past 10-plus years during the season, Thursday and Friday practices were brief and featured little to report on regardless. The same is expected under Leach.)

Closed practices are nothing new to much of the rest of the country. And the trend toward being mum on injury news is also swinging more and more towards less and less information being provided, it any at all.

Bottom line? Coug fans and media will have to accept, grudgingly in some cases to be sure, that Leach simply feels closing practices and not releasing any injury news enhances the Cougs' chances to win.

ON THE INJURY FRONT, we have confirmed through a reliable source who asked not to be identified that right tackle Rico Forbes will undergo surgery for a torn ACL and be lost for the season. That outcome is no surprise but under Leach, WSU provides no information on injuries or a player's status.

Citing two sources close to the situation, CF.C reported six days ago that it was virtually certain Forbes would need major surgery that would cost him the 2012 season. When asked later about the report, Leach quipped that such a situation would be impossible because Washington State doesn't have injuries.

ONE OF THE BEST-KEPT secrets of the 2012 Cougar football season was brought to our attention by a devout fan who has grown weary of fair-weather friends trying to bum tickets off him. WSU has teamed with Northern Quest Resort and Casino in Spokane to offer a whale of a package to all home games.

The deal includes hotel room, two tickets to see the Cougs, passes to the Cougar Den (located in the west end zone, open three hours prior to game time), transportation to/from Pullman and Northern Quest Resort on a charter bus, and more. Call 877-871-6772 for reservations.

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