Patterson, a senior, was allowed to leave USC last month after the NCAA put that program on probation for major rules violations. The NCAA supplied a waiver to all USC juniors and seniors allowing them to transfer without having to sit out the customary year.
However, sources said USC and the Pac-10 questioned whether Patterson should be allowed to transfer to CU, which joined the conference in June but won't compete in the league until 2011 or 2012.
The concern over Patterson coming to CU is curious because he is a senior who won't be at CU when the Buffs actually begin competing in the Pac-10. However, the league is apparently concerned over applying its transfer rules consistently to all members regardless of their membership status. Pac-10 rules require student-athletes to sit out one season when transferring within the conference.
CU athletic director Mike Bohn would not discuss the nature of the problem that kept Patterson off the field Thursday or how it originated, but he did confirm Patterson is not eligible to practice yet with the Buffs.
"His eligibility is still not resolved," Bohn said.
Patterson has played in more than 30 games in his career and adds speed to the Colorado receiving corps.
Coach Dan Hawkins didn't seem to be worried. He said Patterson joining the team is a formality when asked about it after practice.
"I don't know," Hawkins said of when Patterson would practice. "We're getting through a paperwork deal on him. So we're just waiting on other folks to get that signed off."
There was some good news standing right beside Patterson during most of practice.
Paul Richardson, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound wide receiver has decided to come to CU and is in the process of being admitted to the school. Richardson initially signed earlier this year with UCLA but that school kicked him out of its program when he was arrested in June and charged with felony theft of a purse.
Richardson visited campus a week ago and was unsure if he would become a Buff. He surprised more than a few fans by showing up Thursday.
Coaches pay the price
Coaches were forced to drop to the ground around the post-practice huddle and do pushups because one of them did not know a player's name when he was asked.
"I always pick on the newest coach and newest player," Hawkins said. "So it's not a very fair advantage."
Tight end Clark Evans and wide receiver Andre Simmons did not participate in the first day of practice. Hawkins said both were tending to academic issues. ... Today is the final day of summer school. Hawkins said he did not divide veterans and newcomers in separate practice sessions this year as he has done in the past because players had classes and finals on the first two days of camp. ...Offensive linemen Ryan Miller and Max Tuioti-Mariner are sporting mohawks at the outset of camp. ... Defensive lineman Forrest West will miss the first two weeks of practice with a left leg injury. Hawkins said he expects the sophomore back later in the month.