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Owls turn into early birds under Carl Pelini

 Carl Pelini promised everything would be different when he took over from Howard Schnellenberger, and so far he has been right.

 Under Schnellenberger, practices were open. Pelini has closed off access and now what goes on behind The Oxley stays behind The Oxley.

 He changed the offensive and defensive schemes and brought in 8 new assistant coaches and raided the JUCO ranks for players.

 And now the latest changes -- the earliest preseason camp start for the program, and the earliest start times.

 Most of the practices will begin at 6:30 a.m., beginning with Wednesday's opening session.

 Also gone are the dreaded three-a-days. And Pelini has wisely included are some days off.

 The Voice always started camp later than most programs in the country, and because of that, there were few, if any, scheduled days off, and multiple three-a-day sessions.

 I never understood the logic of that. Why give the competition as much as a six-day head start; why no days off when you know weather will impact at least a couple practices, not to mention fatigue by the end of camp; and why hang onto the ancient tradition of three-a-days when no other program still held them?

 Well, that is water under the bridge.

 Training camp opens Wednesday, marking the official end to the Dreaded Summer Doldrums.

 But with the closed practices, how things are going won't become clear for a while.

 In the meantime, I have finals Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, with the last one on Aug. 6. Second semester starts Aug. 20.

 Time flies when you are taking 16 hours in the short summer semester.

 Holding off writing the tuition check for the second semester. 15 percent tuition hike, 5 percent athletic fee hike, and 19 hours. That adds up to coin I had not budgeted for when I took the plunge.



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