Vanderbilt Plans to Open Preseason Practices To Public; Freshmen and Invited Walk-ons Start Wednesday Morning 8/6/02

Vanderbilt Head Coach Bobby Johnson will allow the public to attend the team’s preseason practices that begin Wednesday morning.

The “open practice” policy comes on the heels of Vanderbilt officials receiving confirmation that the squad’s state-of-the-art AstroPlay synthetic surface will be ready when 21 freshmen signees and six invited walk-ons have their initial practice Wednesday. The coach said practices closer to the season opener against Georgia Tech may be closed.

Johnson’s staff will guide the newcomers through two-a-day conditioning drills Wednesday and Thursday before veterans report Friday and the university hosts its Dore Jam Field Day this Sunday at the renovated McGugin Practice Complex. “We’re ready to get going with practice. The kids are ready and the coaches are ready,” Coach Johnson said.

The public will be allowed to watch practices from a concrete right-of-way recently constructed on the east side of McGugin Practice Complex. Due to construction through Saturday, visitors are requested to use the Vanderbilt Sports Medicine entrance at McGugin Center to get to the practice facility. Starting Sunday with the Dore Jam activities, an access gate off Natchez Trace Drive will be available.

McGugin Practice Complex Update: The Commodores will use the cushioned AstroPlay surface for all practices this week, Coach Johnson said. The team could start utilizing the adjacent 80-yard natural grass surface next week. A few projects, including construction of perimeter fencing, are not finished.

Johnson Appearance Saturday: The public can meet Coach Johnson Saturday when he appears at Sports Seasons, located in the Lions Head Shopping Center off White Bridge Road in Nashville.

Practice Updates Coming: Daily practice updates will be featured on Vanderbilt’s official website, www.vucommodores.com. The updates will include coaches’ comments, brief practice summaries and features on the squad.

This Week of Vanderbilt Football
Wed., Aug. 7
Frosh/Walk-on Practices
(9:30 a.m. & 4:00 p.m.)

Thurs., Aug. 8
Frosh/Walk-on Practices
(9:30 a.m. & 4:00 p.m.)

Fri., Aug. 9
Veterans Report to Campus
Frosh Practice - 4:00 p.m.

Sat., Aug. 10
Full-Squad Conditioning Practice
(4:00 p.m.)
• Coach Johnson also appears at Sports Seasons located in Lions Head Shopping Center on White Bridge Rd., Nashville.
(1:00-2:00 p.m.)

Sun., Aug. 11
“Dore Jam” Field Day
(4:00-6:00 p.m.) McGugin Practice Complex

Mon., Aug. 12
Full Squad Two-a-Days Start


Vanderbilt Athletic Department
2601 Jess Neely Drive
Nashville, TN 37212
615-322-GOLD (4653)