Gators will begin football practice this week, no spring game this year

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - NOVEMBER 21: Head coach Dan Mullen of the Florida Gators addresses his team after a victory over the Vanderbilt Commodores at Vanderbilt Stadium on November 21, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) (Frederick Breedon, 2020 Frederick Breedon)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida football team will begin practicing this week, but the school won’t hold a spring game for the second consecutive season.

Gators athletic director Scott Stricklin said on Tuesday that the program will expand and amplify coverage on the team’s social media accounts, as well as lean on the SEC Network to provide fans more coverage.

“During the COVID pandemic, the UAA’s focus has been on safely conducting athletic events against outside competition while allowing a limited number of Gator fans to attend those games, per UF health guidelines,” Stricklin said in a post on Twitter.

“Beginning this Thursday, the Gators football team will have 15 practices that will encompass four weeks. However, hosting fans for an intra-squad spring football scrimmage seems unwise given all circumstances, including the fact that Ben Hill Griffin Stadium is being used as a large-scale COVID testing and vaccination site.”

The NCAA allows 15 practices during the spring, although teams typically use one of those 15 as the spring game. The Gators didn’t have a spring game last year as the onset of the pandemic forced sports into a hiatus.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.