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No Florida Gators spring game for the second year in a row due to COVID-19

A pylon stands in the corner of an end zone at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium before an NCAA college...
A pylon stands in the corner of an end zone at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium before an NCAA college football game between Florida and Charleston Southern Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)(Phelan M. Ebenhack | AP)
Published: Feb. 16, 2021 at 11:55 AM CST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Florida football will not hold a spring game.

The Gators will start spring practice on Thursday, however, the traditional yearly spring game will be skipped for the second year in a row.

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The Florida Gators are hitting the football field nearly a month early to start spring football camp but that isn’t the only change this year. Florida head coach Dan. Mullen confirmed that the Gators will not host a traditional spring game to conclude spring camp this year, the second year in a row without the game.

“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,” Florida Athletic Director Scott Stricklin said in a statement. “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 for 15 practices in the spring. Generally, teams would hold their practices, and one or two scrimmages during the first 14 practices.

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According to Stricklin, they will still offer practice highlights.

“Staying engaged with Gator fans and their passion for Florida football remain a priority. As part of spring football practice, the football team’s social media accounts on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook will provide enhanced coverage of spring practice to give fans a more complete view of the Gators’ progress. Also the SEC Network will have a dedicated window to showcase Gators football, similar to what televised spring games have provided in the past.

“We appreciate the continued support of our fans throughout the pandemic, and we can’t wait to host Gator Nation at the Swamp for games this Fall.”

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