Beamer hopes to open practices to fans
Shane Beamer remembers what the buzz was like around those practices.
He remembers, during his first stint at South Carolina, the trucks backed up to the fence of the old practice field and the lines of fans descending on the handful of open practices South Carolina had.
Now that Beamer is the head coach, he wants to bring those back, hopefully as early as this fall for preseason camp.
“As I sit here on my desk, I got a lot of things to my right I’m working on in regards to preseason practice and the future,” Beamer said on GamecockCentral live Monday. “One of those things is trying to find ways to get a good look and access with our team. That’s something we’re looking through. I’m in favor of it if we can make it work.”
Open practices were a staple of the Steve Spurrier era and were smattered throughout Will Muschamp’s five-year tenure, although maybe not to the degree they were under his predecessor.
Beamer was here for a lot of those open practices under Spurrier during his time at South Carolina as an assistant (2007-2010) and remembers those days fondly and wants to recreate some of those memories now that he’s in the head coach’s chair.
“I hope those days aren’t over. I remember it. It was awesome,” Beamer said. “Sitting there on the old practice field across from where I am now and seeing the trucks backed up, it brought energy to the practice field. I know the fans enjoyed it. I enjoyed it as a coach. It was a lot of fun and excitement being out there."
The goal of opening up a handful of practices will be to help connect the Gamecock fan base with the current team and build excitement around his first team in Columbia.
Having open practices aren’t a done deal yet, and the Gamecocks are still get some logistics worked out but the hope is Beamer and the Gamecocks could be welcoming fans out to watch practice at points this fall.
“That’s something we certainly want to take advantage of and utilize,” Beamer said. “We have the greatest fans in the world, in my opinion. We want to do everything in our power to see our football team. It’s good for our players too to perform in front of a crowd.”
The Gamecocks are going through summer workouts now and will begin preseason camp in August before the season starts Sept. 4 at home against Eastern Illinois.
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