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September 3, 2013
With the sound of Rodriguez's voice within an earshot from across the street of the Kindall/Sancet Stadium practice facility, the media was informed via the team's sports information staff that his regularly scheduled post-practice media availability was canceled. Also, per Rodriguez's decision, no players were made available with requested members of the offense scheduled to speak.
No official reason was given.
At his weekly press conference the day before, the offense-centric Rodriguez shouldered a share of the blame for the "ultra conservative" play-calling in last week's 35-0 win over Northern Arizona. Senior quarterback B.J. Denker attempted just 13 throws and threw for just 87 yards and a touchdown, as the running game accounted for 306 of the team's 393 yards of total offense.
This is not the first time Rodriguez has made players unavailable. Following an open practice at Fort Huachuca, an upset Rodriguez did not allow anyone on offense to speak to reporters after a subpar performance. Through the opening week of fall camp, the quarterbacks were off-limits after a poor start to the competition for the starting job. All-American running back Ka'Deem Carey, who went through a well-documented rough offseason and was suspended, per team policy, for the season opener, has been allowed to speak just once since last December's New Mexico Bowl.
It also is not the first time Rodriguez has made himself unavailable, although it is rare. During last season's spring camp, a heated team meeting kept him in the coaches' offices.
What does it all mean? Well, it could amount to nothing.
During fall camp, Rodriguez and his staff turned up the intensity on an early-morning practice and was vocal from the start. Afterward, he admitted that the yelling was premeditated to "get the juices flowing."
So, yeah, we're talking about practice.