Is it already Thursday?
Feels to me like one long day since Monday.
Some tidbits from my second office -- aka my car (with ac running):
*A ton of national media (well, a ton for UM standards) set up for coach Al Golden this morning, and as usual, he had a lot of patience in dealing with us. I can't tell you how much I admire how he is handling this situation publicly. He continues to answer questions respectfully and pretty much in depth, though some of the repeat questions by national media was getting to him a little. Still, he answered everything.
* So I hear we're getting some kind of prepared statement by UM AD Shawn Eichorst today. A little on the late side, I'd say. He still has addressed us in person since he first arrived on campus a few months ago.
* I asked the coach if this situation makes it any clearer as to naming a starting quarterback (because Jacory Harris is on the NCAA list, as opposed to Stephen Morris). "Obviously you're referring to one of the quarterbacks being mentioned (yes, Jacory, I said) so for me to jump in to say he did have an infraction or he did something wrong would be wrong. I'm going to wait and see what the investigation leads to us and then we'll go from there, but right now, we're just grading them on the field.''
*Jacory Harris was in a gray T-shirt and green UM shorts this morning at practice, with a whistle in his mouth. We were told by UM he is a player-coach for the morning session but will be dressed in uniform and pads and practicing this afternoon.
*Cornerback JoJo Nicolas was not at practice today. UM Associate AD for Communications Chris Freet said it was "for personal reasons.'' JoJo is one of the implicated players on NCAA list.
* DT Curtis Porter has a hand or finger injury. He was wearing a red jersey (for injured players) and his left hand was thickly bandaged with either his forefinger or thumb (or both?) wrapped heavily. It looked more like his forefinger, but I can't be sure. We're very far away.
* TE Chase Ford wore a red jersey.
* G Joel Figueroa was fully dressed in practice uniform then walked off the field looking somewhat out of it after about 10 minutes. We leave after 15. According to UM, he then served as player-coach. Not sure what the story is there.
* Golden said Wednesday's practice was "our best'' practice since all the Nevin Shapiro stuff broke. "Tuesday was the day the story broke so there was some shock and guys were unclear. but yesterday We really came out and had a lot of energy. If anything it's going to bring us a lot closer together. ...For the most part, inside here we're moving forward.''
* How much does the fact that so many guys are fighting for positions now are keeping them grounded? Golden: "Right now they know they have five practices [left] and one scrimmage and then the team is going to be be set. our travel team will be set, our depth will be set and then we'll go from there. They know right now this is crunch time. We call this moving week and next Wednesday is cut down day. They know what they need to do.''
* (timeout for commecial break:) http://redraiders.com/filed-online/2011-08-17/twenty-questions-kirby-hocutt
* How much has the depth chart changed from the first scrimmage going into scrimmage 2? Golden: "I think it has changed a lot. We're trying to find the right combination on the offensive line. We'll report to you when we know something about Seantrel but we're operating like he's not with us. You have to do that. We've been moving guys around to get the best combination there.
* "Dalton Botts has been doing an excellent, suburb job at punting,,'' Golden said. [Placekicker] Jake [Wieclaw] was 9 for 10 the other day in our special teams scrimmage Tuesday afternoon and clearly he had the better day, although [Matt Goudis] is right there with him.'' Wieclaw is also practicing his punting.
Have a good day everyone.
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN