UF football spring practice closed to public

Published: Wednesday, March 9, 2011 at 4:10 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 9, 2011 at 4:10 p.m.

Those who were hoping to catch an early glimpse of Will Muschamp's first Florida football team next week will have to wait until the April 9 spring game to do so.

As anticipated, UF has decided to close spring practice to the public and the media to focus on the transition from Urban Meyer and his staff to Muschamp and his, which includes new offensive and defensive coordinators.

“With a new coaching staff here teaching our system, we feel like minimizing our distractions is important,” Muschamp said in a UF release. “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 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 has a job to do and understand this creates a challenge to them, so we ask for their patience with us as we work through our first spring practice here at Florida.”

Spring practice for the Gators opens next Wednesday.

UF also announced that next Tuesday's annual Pro Day will be closed to the public, a year after the school attracted thousands of fans to the event to watch Tim Tebow and the other draft eligible players work out for the NFL coaches and scouts.

Pro Day, however, will be open to the media.

“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,” associate athletics director for communications Steve McClain said. “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.”

Traditionally, spring practices are open to the public and the media, although fall practices have been shut down for the past few years.

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