Cool weather wreaks havoc on practice field

Published 08/04 2014 09:48PM

Updated 08/04 2014 10:43PM

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The biggest problem for the Illinois football team on day 1 of practice had nothing to do with the players; it was actually the grass.  Because of the unseasonably cool temperatures - the coldest July on record in Champaign-Urbana - the Bermuda grass on the practice fields east of Memorial Stadium were not completely ready.  The result was slippery grass head coach Tim Beckman described as "a swamp," and divots all over the field.

Beckman ended practice a few minutes early because of the damaged field, and he says the team will practice inside Memorial Stadium on the turf the rest of the week to keep the players safe.

"It's nothing that anybody could handle - or do - I mean it's nobody's fault," Beckman said.  "It's just with not having enough heat really for the Bermuda. I don't understand how grass [grows] - I just mow it.  But that's one of the problems they said we've had."

Beckman says he has been up to Rantoul to check out the practice fields at Camp Rantoul, and they will be ready to go when the team arrives there next week.

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