Olivet Nazarene University officials said Thursday they will be ready to host training camp for the Bears as soon as Monday morning.
Tents and temporary fences were already being erected on campus in anticipation of the Bears arrival. When it was announced that NFL players had agreed to a deal that could end the lockout, school officials were relieved. Their greatest fear was that the deal would be scuttled, the lockout would continue and training camp cancelled.
"While we have it down to a science, you still don't want to go through the expense and all the work if it's not going to be used," said Gary Griffin, Olivet's director of alumni relations. "It was a risk but a calculated one.
There is still no word yet on when training camp will start. If the Bears participate in the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio, on Aug. 7 they could open camp as early as Tuesday or Wednesday. If the league decides to cancel that game, they will likely no report to Bourbonnais until the 29th or 30th.
"The pressure comes from not knowing and being afraid we're not as organized as we need to be," Griffin said. "If camp starts Tuesday, I'd like to have a schedule out by now, if not weeks ago."