2012 CU football schedule
Sunday, Sept. 2 - Colorado State, at Sports Authority Field at Mile High
Saturday, Sept. 8 - Sacramento State at Folsom Field
Saturday, Sept. 15 - At Fresno State
Saturday, Sept. 22 - At Washington State
Saturday, Sept. 29 - UCLA at Folsom Field
Thursday, Oct. 11 - Arizona State at Folsom Field
Saturday, Oct. 20 - At Southern California
Saturday, Oct. 27 - At Oregon
Saturday, Nov. 3 - Stanford at Folsom Field
Saturday, Nov. 10 - At Arizona
Saturday, Nov. 17 - Washington at Folsom Field
Friday, Nov. 23 - Utah at Folsom Field
Colorado spring football practices will be closed to the public and media members will be allowed to view only parts of practices, coach Jon Embree said.
Embree hinted last fall that his policies would be different this year. He said there are a variety of reasons for closing practices and limiting access, but the primary reason is the Buffs begin next season against Colorado State and open practices easily could allow CSU to scout the Buffs. CU opened last season against Hawaii and didn't play the Rams until the third game of the season so scouting from the Rams wasn't a worry.
But Embree has other concerns that played a part in his decision.
"With this being such a young team, I want to keep distractions for those guys at a minimum," Embree said. "I don't want them coming off the field every day feeling like they're being judged.
"I just want the kids to learn how to play, no anxiety, no nothing."
Colorado will have just 10 seniors on the roster this spring. The 2012 Buffs are expected to feature a lot of sophomores, redshirt freshmen and true freshmen playing on Saturdays. On national signing day earlier this month, Embree estimated that as much as 75 percent of his freshman class of 28 could earn playing time this upcoming season.
Embree said he is leaving open the possibility of having part of fall camp in August open to the public, but that isn't a sure thing at this point. Last year, the public was able to watch the first 10 practices of fall camp in their entirety. He said that decision will be made later this summer and it will depend, in part, on how the quarterback competition goes this spring.
Third-year sophomores Nick Hirschman and Connor Wood are the frontrunners to win the job and redshirt freshman John Schrock is a darkhorse candidate.
If coaches feel like one player is clearly separating himself and taking control of the position, Embree said he might be more inclined to open some practices in August. If the quarterback competition is still a muddled picture going into fall camp, practices likely will be closed to the public.
"I don't want seven million people on the Internet saying, 'Well, no, it should have been this guy,'" Embree said. "It's going to be hard enough whenever you do pick that guy. No matter who it is, you're always going to have that faction of people wanting it to be the other guy. With the fans, I'll probably just let them into some (August) practices here or there, but not just a general statement of open."
Former coach Dan Hawkins was criticized when he limited access to practices at times during his tenure. Hawkins always had at least some parts of fall camp open to the public in each of his five seasons in Boulder.
Embree said he does not mean to alienate fans. He aims to please them by taking the program back to the postseason next fall, but he believes the best atmosphere for developing a team capable of doing that is having practices with as few eyes as possible watching. If the Buffs were an older team with more entrenched veterans and fewer positions up for grabs, Embree might take a different approach.
Tone it down
One of the major story lines from Embree's first spring in Boulder a year ago was the decibel level at practices with coaches doing a lot of yelling at players. The tone and temperament of practices dramatically changed from the Hawkins era.
Embree won't be doing as much yelling this year out of necessity. He recently had throat surgery and has been limiting how much he speaks the past week. Embree said, only half joking, that he shouldn't have to yell as much this spring as he did last year because the Buffs should know what is expected of them.
"I'll definitely be staying on a short leash for awhile," Embree said.
Wright moving on
Embree said four-star cornerback recruit Yuri Wright has enrolled at a new school in New Jersey and is getting on with finishing his course work and graduating from high school so that he can join the Buffs this summer.
Wright was expelled from Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, N.J., in January after using his Twitter account to post dozens of inappropriate messages of a racial and sexual nature. Wright later apologized and acknowledged he had made poor decisions and vowed not to repeat them.
"He is enrolled at another school," Embree said. "He's following up on his stuff."
Embree said there are no new discipline cases or injury situations that will have an effect on spring ball and he hopes it remains that way. ... He said Hirschman is recovering nicely from foot surgery and might cleared for full participation at the start of spring ball. That remains to be seen. Hirschman has been positive in messages he has posted recently on his Twitter account. "So close to 100 percent rehab does the body good," Hirschman tweeted earlier this week.