Florida spring practice will be closed to public

The Will Muschamp era of Florida Gators football will begin with a measure put in place that even former head coach Urban Meyer did not institute during his time in the orange and blue: 2011 spring practice will be closed to the public.

“With a new coaching staff here teaching our system, we feel like minimizing our distractions is important,’’ Muschamp said in an official statement. “We realize that there is high interest from the fans, and we are extremely appreciative of the support that The Gator Nation gives us. We hope that they understand that this decision has been made in the interest of helping our program be successful on Saturdays this fall by allowing our team to learn and develop together in this type of environment.

“We also respect that the media have a job to do and understand that this creates a challenge for them, so we ask for their patience with us as we work through our first spring practice here at Florida.’’

Fans will be able to get their first look at the new Gators team on April 9 at the 2011 Orange & Blue Debut spring game. The event will air live on Sun Sports beginning at noon. Tickets are free for students, Gator Boosters and members of the Alumni Association and F Club. A limited number of free tickets are available to the public; otherwise the cost is $5 per person.

Florida also announced Wednesday that Pro Day will be held for those players hoping to be selected in the 2011 NFL Draft on March 15 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Among those expected to participated, according to UF, are center Mike Pouncey, safety Ahmad Black, punter Chas Henry and guard Carl Johnson.

OGGOA has previously been informed that running back Emmanuel Moody, defensive linemen Terron Sanders and Justin Trattou will also be participating along with a number of other former seniors/graduates.

In the past, Pro Day had been open to both the public and the media. This time around, only the media will be allowed to attend.

“Pro Day is an extremely important day for the career hopes of these players, and they’ve spent an enormous amount of time and energy preparing for it,” Florida associate athletics director for communications Steve McClain said in a release.

“We feel that creating a more private environment and minimizing potential distractions will help give them the best chance to perform up to their potential. We also feel like it’s become more important than ever for us to monitor who is around our team and student-athletes, and taking this step provides us an even greater ability to manage that.”

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19 Responses to “Florida spring practice will be closed to public”

  1. npgator says:

    I think it should be closed. One of the benefits of a new coaching staff with a different philsophy than the previous staff is the element of surprise.

  2. CH says:

    I’m ok with this decision. Too much to learn – create to have distractions.

  3. Gio Showtime says:

    Agree with the decision. I really don’t know why my fellow Gators are fretting over something that is necessary with the new changes.

  4. David says:

    I am sad that I won’t be getting daily updates, BUT I understand, and agree with, this decision.

  5. Daniel M. says:

    Hopefully the daily updates aren’t Steve Addazio style.

  6. Tony M says:

    never been to a practice….is it really a distraction to the coaches or players? is there much mugging for the cameras/fans? they’ve eventually gotta play in front of 90,000 or so. that said, if that’s the way Muschamp wants to run it, I’m fine with that. (Not that he consults me much.)

    • Aligator says:

      there are a lot of people at the practices, usually a 100 or so on the practice field and sometimes several thousands can show up to the scrimmages that they have over at Florida Field. They want to focus and put all of this in and be successful at it, so I support this decision.

  7. David says:

    Let me clarify. I will miss live feed updates from media postings. Live updates from objective sources. Drill by drill.

  8. g8ter27 says:

    I think all of us on here are good with this decision. Many fans will not be, but it certainly appears to be what is best for this season.

  9. Zooker says:

    Did the same thing in last fall and they turned out 10x’s WORST, go figure….

  10. npgator says:

    Different circumstances all together Zooker but stay negative.

      • Zooker says:

        It balances everything out due to most Gator fans think that a National title is a birth right… Gator fans sensationalize every thing, for instance, people saying the basketball win reach the Final Four is the most ridiculous thing I’m ever heard… We good but not that good

  11. dp says:

    Zooker, maybe you should go to the Illini like your namesake

  12. npgator says:

    Perhaps the Zooker has never heard of a self fullfilled prophecy!

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