Oregon St. practiced twice today, but the practices were not only totally closed, meaning even select members of the press weren't invited, and no one from the coaching staff or the team talked to anyone afterwards. So if you were wondering why the only coverage you can find were the promotional pieces, that's why.
It's also why it was "breaking news" that basketball incoming freshman Tres Tinkle, who has been walking around campus with his foot in a boot all summer, had a stress fracture. One that was diagnosed last spring, and didn't require surgery.
The boot is projected to come off in about one more week, and head coach Wayne Tinkle expects his son to be 100% by the start of the season. The injury is one of those over-use injuries that are increasingly common among athletes who spend most of their off-season doing the same thing they do in-season, so the summer working on conditioning, but without the floor pounding, is probably going to produce the best season in the younger Tinkle's career.
Getting back to football, rest assured that the team is working on such pressing issues as deciding on whether the nickel coverage should have an extra safety or corner, and in which situations, and seeing how many different ways they can get the ball in the hands of Victor Bolden in the open. We just won't learn any of the questions until some ways into the season (don't expect all the answers from the Weber St. game).
Also bear in mind before jumping on the bandwagon of outrage about the Beavers being picked to finish last in the Pac-12 North, and probably with only 3-5 wins, Oregon St. is on track to be the only one of the 128 FBS teams that will start the season with no one on the team that has ever taken a snap in a college game, ANY college game, ever. (I had to point that out after hearing about another round of supposed indignation with some of the predictions, and questioning of why consensus of low expectations exists.)
The good news is you will be able to get your own full sized copy of the poster for this football season at this Saturday's Family Fun Day, which follows the final open scrimmage of the pre-season. The university release the image, above, of the poster today, but you probably would never have guessed which player is on the other side. (Benny tells me its Jordan Villamin!)
In other football news, the Beavers won't be unionizing. Nor will those on any other teams. The suit brought by Northwestern players seeking union status was dismissed today by the NLRB, noting that any decision that allowed them to unionize would not apply to most college athletes, as most colleges, and especially those that have Division I football programs, are public schools, where the NLRB has no jurisdiction, and that such a decision would have a de-stabilizing affect on college athletics.
This is completely as expected, and probably a good, or at least ok thing, as the effort has already prompted pre-emptive improvements in programs at a number of levels, which was also not lost on the NLRB. Consider it a successful effort that prompted steps in the right direction.
Mid-August Mondays are typically slow news days, especially once you get beyond the latest wildland fire reports, around these parts, and the absence of bad news (no new players were reported leaving the Valley Football Center on crutches) is good news of a sort.
But for football fans starving for hard news, consider yourself on a diet! (We'll look for a passing ice cream truck tomorrow. Since temperatures will top 100 degrees on the turf, I'm sure one will show up.)