George Mason ruled out as possible Redskins training camp location

The Washington Redskins continue to explore options that would enable them to hold training camp away from Redskins Park for the first time since 2002. But if they do, it won’t take place at George Mason University.

GMU Athletic Director Tom O’Connor said that Redskins General Manager Bruce Allen and members of his staff met with O’Connor shortly after the first of the year to discuss the possibility of holding camp at the university’s Fairfax campus.

But a mutual determination was made, according to O’Connor, that George Mason wouldn’t be able to host Washington’s training camp.

“After careful consideration,” O’Connor said, “we agreed that although the Redskins believe that Mason’s athletic facilities are top notch, and we had all the things they would need from a football standpoint, we wouldn’t be able to meet the requirements to accommodate the media and fans at this time.”

The Redskins looked into holding camp at George Mason last offseason, but the uncertainty of the NFL lockout hindered the team’s ability to plan for specific dates, and the talks with O’Connor and the university didn’t progress very far. The two sides agreed to resume talks at a later time, and did so last month.

When reached for comment on the Redskins’ plans for this year’s training camp, team spokesman Tony Wyllie said only, “We’re exploring all of our options.”

In the last two days, officials from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., (where the Redskins held training camp from 1963-94 and 2001 and 2002) and Frostburg State University (where Washington had camp from 1995-99) said that they had not had any contact with the Redskins this year. Neither had officials at William & Mary, where the team has previously explored the possibility of having camp, or Catholic University in the District.

The Redskins have held training camp at Redskins Park since 2003, but coach Mike Shanahan – who is entering his third season with the team -- has said in the past that he prefers getting away for the four weeks of training camp.

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.

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