At least as of Saturday, Ute football coach Kyle Whittingham was sticking by his plan to keep Jan Jorgensen out of practice.
Jorgensen, an all-conference defensive lineman at BYU last season, is now a 1280-The Zone radio personality. Last Thursday Whittingham had Jorgensen banned from Utah’s practice, fearing security might be breached.
The reason for the ban is twofold. First, Jorgensen is only recently removed from being a player and may not have the objectivity of other reporters. Second, he actually knows football enough that he could leak some strategy.
I understand Whittingham’s concerns. It takes awhile for media members to separate themselves from the old college loyalties. At the same time, the Utes could have given Jorgensen a chance. It seems unlikely he’d run immediately to Bronco Mendenhall and tell him all he knows.
If it were me, I’d give him the benefit of the doubt.
(Incidentally, two officials at BYU said if ex-Ute Kyle Gunther — also a 1280 personality — shows up at a BYU practice, he’ll be allowed inside along with other media. His playing career ended in 2007.)
One interesting thing is how the teams are handling practices this year. Utah’s opening day was closed to the public, and media members were screened at the gate. Meanwhile, BYU’s first day of practice was loose and relaxed, with family, fans and media wandering about the practice field.
BYU has three practice sessions open to the public this fall (August 13, 17 and 19), while all Utah practices are closed.
Which is the opposite of what you might expect.
So far, the Utes have come off as ultra-protective, while the Cougars seemed relaxed and confident.
It will be interesting to see which approach translates into on-field success.