Dressed in shorts, jerseys and helmets, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team began preseason practice Thursday. About halfway through the two-hour workout, cornerback Chaz Moore went down with a shoulder injury.
The sophomore sprained his left shoulder when he fell and hit the artificial turf at Scrappy Moore Field at an awkward angle. It was an injury that could have been prevented, Mocs coach Russ Huesman said.
"Chaz Moore hurts his shoulder today and I disagree with [the NCAA] in making us come out in just helmets," he said. "Shoulder pads protect you."
NCAA rules require teams to conduct their first two practices without any pads, followed by two days in just shoulder pads before teams can don the full gear. Building up to full pads is done so that players can get acclimated to practicing in the August heat.
Moore likely will miss at least a couple of days of practice, Huesman said.
"We're all smart. Nobody's going to come out here as a college football coach and scrimmage the first day," Huesman said. "But let them have some protection."
Mocs lose a DB
Signee Tevin Stewart-Gaulden, a defensive back from Fitzgerald, Ga., will not be joining the Mocs because he was not accepted into UTC.
Huesman said he learned that Stewart-Gaulden had been denied on Wednesday, the same day he was informed that freshman wide receiver Marlandas Crane had been accepted. Crane sat out the second half of practice Thursday with a groin injury.
The Mocs caught a break with Thursday's cool (for August) conditions. They should avoid the heat during their next seven practices, all of which begin no later than 7:45 a.m. UTC will practice at 6:30 in the morning today, Monday and Tuesday.