GAINESVILLE -- If you're driving to Gainesville today to catch a glimpse of your favorite Gator, then STOP! Turn around and go home! Save your gas!
At 12:36 p.m. today, Florida released a statement alerting members of the media that the Gators are closing their practice doors today and tomorrow. Fans and reporters will be turned away at the door. This is not a joke, by the way. Don't show up at the UF practice football field today if you want to watch your favorite team. Do show up, however, if you just want Tebow to sign an autograph so you can go and sell it on ebay. You can stand outside the practice gates just like everyone else.
Florida gave little explanation for why it suddenly closed practice. On Wednesday, UF coach Urban Meyer clearly was not happy with practice. Florida practiced for an hour longer than scheduled and then ran sprints after that. Afterwards, Meyer said he was unhappy and that his players lacked focus.
Originally, practices were open to all until Saturday, when Florida moves its practice operation to the UVS practice field, a more easily shrouded facility. The real work -- two-a-days -- begins on Saturday.
Closing practice will be a major letdown for fans. Last year, the final open practice (Friday night) was so popular that Florida had to turn people away at the gates.
We can only speculate why UF coach Urban Meyer decided to shut the doors. I blame the Internet! No, just kidding. The atmosphere around the practice field on Wednesday was a distraction, according to a Florida spokesman.