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Oregon Ducks Closing Practice A Bad Idea?

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Short answer: No.

Long answer: No.

This is pretty much the non-stories of non-stories, but Oregon will not be opening up spring practices for the first time in forever. The pain!

At least one Duck doesn't seem to like the situation too much. Here are the thoughts of LaMichael James:

Those concerns are all valid. Unlike many Pac-12 towns, Eugene is definitely bound to its college football, and keeping the relationship open between the fans and the team is crucial. You don't want to see the communication break down on such a fundamental level.

From the football perspective, it does make sense from a strategic standpoint: The Ducks are totally revamping their offense. They're replacing their starting quarterback and star running back and several other key personnel. The less reported on their new squad, the better advantage Chip Kelly will enjoy on the playing field this upcoming season, and the less knowledge the media has, the better position Oregon could be in going into next year.

There's not much for Oregon to gain from opening practice. They can't really charge fans for access without irking them. The people interested in watching spring practice are probably a small minority of the fans who actually attend and pay tickets for the real football contests, and the diehards will live with missing spring practice if they get to see the game.

Let's face it, Oregon currently holds the edge in offensive innovation in college football, and they need to hold onto that edge no matter the cost. Oregon's staying power relies on the Ducks remaining good; they drop off and community interest might be stifled anyway.

If Kelly is doing it for those reasons, then it's all fine and well. Although there's a good chance he just closed the practices because he wanted more time to practice his condescending press conferences.