By Mickey Furfari
For The Register-Herald
With a strenuous eight weeks of summer workouts behind them, West Virginia University’s football players are now ready for fall training camp.
The first of 19 practice sessions will be held Thursday at Mountaineer Field/Milan Puskar Stadium.
Only four of those 15 days are double practice days, with a.m. and p.m. sessions. When WVU fall semester classes begin on Monday, Aug. 20, the Mountaineers will start practicing in the late afternoon.
Like last year’s fall camp, this one will be among the most secretive as far as the media is concerned. Reporters will have to rely on what they’re told in interviews by head coach Dana Holgorsen, his assistant coaches and requested players.
According to the announced media schedule, just five days will be open to the media. And that will be from 5-5:30 p.m. — a mere 30 minutes each session.
Practice will be closed completely to reporters on 10 days.
If memory serves, that was very similar to a year ago, Holgorsen’s first as a head coach. And he most certainly had every right to be so restrictive in dealing with the media.
This, despite the fact that the late Bill Stewart, Holgorsen’s predecessor, and many others permitted media types to even cover a full-scale camp scrimmage or two.
Stewart’s three teams posted 9-3 records. Holgorsen’s 2011 team finished 10-3.
Fan Day will be observed on Sunday, Aug. 12, beginning at 1 p.m. in the Caperton Practice Facility. Coaches and players will be available to sign autographs.
There also will be no practice on the following Sunday, Aug. 19. Instead, Coach Holgorsen will have a program for women interested in learning more about football. That is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.
Registration must be made in advance. Details are available at the football office.
Meanwhile, WVU quarterback Geno Smith was in Bristol, Conn., last Friday for interviews with ESPN.
Three other outstanding players from Big 12 Conference schools also participated in interviews. Some were taped for later presentation.
Smith went on to Miami Friday evening to spend time with his family before fall camp starts.
All of his teammates also are enjoying a few days at home before reassembling.