Sports

Florida football: Gators make statement on fate of spring game


For the second year in a row, there will be no Florida football spring game.

With the Florida football team commencing spring practice on Thursday, athletic director Scott Stricklin has given Gator Nation an update on the status of a 2021 spring game.

“Beginning this Thursday, the Gators football team will have 15 practices that will encompass four weeks,” said Stricklin in a statement on Tuesday. “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.”

While there will not be a spring game in the traditional sense, Stricklin did offer this to Florida fans who want to keep close tabs on the football team this spring.

“The SEC Network will have a dedicated window to showcase Gators Football, similar to what televised games have provided in the past.”

This feels like a decent compromise without sacrificing all that much, to begin with.

No fans at Ben Hill Griffin makes complete sense for the Florida football team

As long as Ben Hill Griffin Stadium is being used as a COVID-19 testing and vaccination facility, there is no reason for there to be fans present to watch a glorified practice in The Swamp. It is more important for the people in and around Gainesville, Florida to get tested and vaccinated rapidly so that we can get back to some semblance of normality in the coming weeks and months.

As for the SEC Network caveat of spring practice coverage, this should suffice for the most rabid members of Gator Nation. If fans are not going to be present to watch this scrimmage, then just set up cameras on the practice field and simulcast it on the SEC Network. ESPN would not mind, as Florida is one of the bigger brands in the SEC footprint. People will watch the Gators practice.

Stricklin and the University of Florida made the right call to not have a traditional spring game.

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