Aug. 4, 2009
TUCSON--Arizona football newcomers officially reported for equipment issue and dorm assignments today to mark the beginning of fall camp.
Most of the new players have already spent some time in Tucson acclimating to the academic structure of college, taking summer school coursework and participating in sessions pegged at strengthening their scholastic skills. Too, the UA strength coaches have had members of the incoming class available for valuable early physical training.
UA veterans will report Wednesday, with additional initial team orientatation functions on the schedule before the start of actual practice on Thursday. All returning players also have been on campus for much of the summer taking classes and participating in voluntary workouts.
Head coach Mike Stoops returns 14 starters and 50 lettermen from the 8-5 club of 2008, victors over BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl. Expectations among the staff, returnees and new players are high, decidedly more so than suggested last week at Pac-10 Football Media Day in Los Angeles, where it was announced league media members had picked UA to finish eighth in the conference.
The Cats will drill Friday through Sunday at Salpointe High School this week, six days next week including Wednesday through Saturday at Fort Huachuca in Sierra Vista, and another week back in Tucson before settling into a regular-season regimen beginning Aug. 24 on the first day of fall classes.
The team will hold an open scrimmage at Buena High School at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 15. Arizona's Fan Appreciation Day will be held from 5-6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22, in Arizona Stadium, followed by an open practice with some scrimmage action.
The Wildcats open the 2009 season at home in Arizona Stadium against Central Michigan Sept. 5. The game kicks off at 7 p.m. (MST/PDT), with live television coverage by the Arizona Wildcats Sports Network and radio by IMG College and local affiliates KCUB 1290 and KHYT 107.5 FM, and ESPN Deportes (990 AM) for Spanish coverage.
Two other games selected early for television include an ABC regional telecast of the Arizona game at Iowa Sept. 19 and the UA-USC from Los Angeles as a split-national game to close the regular season Dec. 5. AWSN will show other games to be announced, plus most games remain in the mix for weekly selection by Pac-10 TV partners ESPN/ABC, FSN and Versus.