Holtz: Some football practices open to public
Still a few nuggets from Wednesday night's town hall meeting I haven't gotten to, such as Bulls coach Skip Holtz saying that some football practices and even scrimmages will be open to the public this fall.
"From a fan standpoint, we will have some open practices and scrimmages," Holtz said, "so people have an opportunity to come, but they won't all be open. ... I'll be flexible with that. We'll try to do everything we can to give the fans and the people that support this program access to the program."
That's a change from USF's general practice under Jim Leavitt, and Holtz said he's also committed to having some parts of practice open to the media, something Leavitt stopped doing during the 2009 season.
"We've got to work with the media. I'll open it to them for a limited time at the beginning of practice," Holtz said. "I will make this team very accessible to them, to be able to interview them, talk to them, all those things. I want as much media coverage as we can get, but I have to give them access to get that."
Holtz's tentative media access allows for interviews with players on three days during the week, as opposed to generally one day under Leavitt. The Bulls will practice on Sundays with Monday as a typical day off, while the opposite was the norm under Leavitt.
Holtz said the nature of the Internet today, with fans passing along information on blogs and message boards, has made it more dangerous to have practices open to the public.
"We opened a practice one time (at East Carolina) and somebody came to practice, opened (a laptop) up and got on one of those blog boards and did a play-by-play of the scrimmage," Holtz said. "Who was doing what, who looked good, who looked bad. From that standpoint, it creates a lot of problems: depth chart, young men's morale on the football team. Now it's affecting the job we do."
Holtz said he'll seek a middle ground from opening all practices as he once could to closing everything and not giving the public a chance to see the team.
-- Just a reminder that Holtz will have another town hall tonight in Clearwater at The Venue on Ulmerton Road from 6:30 to 8 p.m. ...