Florida closes spring practice to public

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida is closing spring practice for the first time in school history.

First-year coach Will Muschamp made the announcement Wednesday, saying he wants to minimize distractions with a new staff. The sessions will be off limits to fans and media.

Muschamp says the decision was made "in the interest of helping our program be successful on Saturdays this fall."

Muschamp believes closed practices could give the Gators the element of surprise next season with new offensive and defensive schemes.

The Gators will continue to open their spring game to the public. It will be played April 9 at Florida Field.