Spring practice begins for Gator football team


Florida cities have their own seasons.

For cities like Ft. Lauderdale and Sarasota, one season is “snow bird” season.

Those are the winter months when folks from out of state and out of the country come to Florida to enjoy the warm weather.

For cities like Daytona Beach and Panama City,  droves of college students flock to their beaches for “spring break” season.

The college calendar definitely determines the seasons in Gainesville. With almost 50,000 students at the University of Florida and more than 10,000 students attending Santa Fe Community College, the Gainesville population is almost half students during the regular school year.

A special part of the college seasons of Gainesville is football season. Football season kicked off last Wednesday with the start of spring practice. The players made the walk from the locker room in the stadium (the brick building in the background), past the Stephen C. O’Connell Center (location of the basketball games, volleyball matches, gymnastic meetings and graduation ceremonies) and to the practice field. Along the way, fans asked for autographs, called out encouragement and took photos.

More than 28,000 students applied to be admitted as freshmen to UF next fall. About 10,000 were admitted. The applications were up — with credit given to UF’s National Championships in football and basketball.

So we’re proud of our academic performance, but we are reminded of the special role that athletics play in promoting UF and influencing the campus atmosphere.

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