Recently I asked Pat Dooley of The Gainesville Sun to compare Florida’s new football coach, Will Muschamp, to the departed Urban Meyer when he came to dealing with the media and fans. “He’s 10 times worse” replied Dooley. I can’t imagine that being possible, but I’ll admit the Gators rookie head coach is trying to live up to Dooley’s comment.

Gator Football Nation is among the most loyal, most passionate, most giving (as in contributions to the athletic department) and largest in all of sports. As a result, the media that cover the Gators are the same.

I bring this up because Muschamp, through a news release, of course, has announced spring practice will be closed to the fans and the media. No word yet whether or not the April 9 Orange and Blue Game will be open. (Stop it, I’m kidding about that!).

I’m always hesitant to complain when a coach isn’t nice or accessible to the media because I know the public in general trust the media about as much as it does political campaign promises. So I’ll close my eyes at night wondering if the fans care about closed-to-all practices. Or, maybe they like them.

I think it’s a mistake. Yeah, I hear you lampooning me by saying, “What else would a media guy think?”

Fair enough, but a disconnect with the media often leads to a disconnect with the fans. Meyer certainly accomplished that. No problem when all is well, but in bad times that connection is important.

Wonder if Muschamp understands that?


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