Need practices closed? Just blame the Internet people.

01 January 2010: Florida head coach Urban Meyer is pictured during Sugar Bowl game against Cincinnati at the SuperDome in New Orleans, Louisiana. Florida defeated Cincinnati, 51-24.

Urban Meyer is the head coach of the Florida Gators and as the head coach of the Florida Gators, he has the right to have closed practices, open practices or no practices if he wants.

And Urban gets what Urban wants.

According to a report by ESPN.com, Meyer has closed Gator practices to the public, citing problems with agents and autograph hounds.

“We can’t live the players’ lives, but we can certainly do the best we can,” he told the newspaper. “You should have the right as a player to walk from here to there without being bothered.

“When I tell my colleagues that you get dressed, you walk across and people just maul you and bother you and internet people grabbing helmets, ‘Sign this,’ and we don’t have security saying, ‘Get the heck out of here.’ You’ll see a lot more ‘get the heck out of here’ from now on and let the kids go practice and concentrate on football.”

He’s right – players should have the opportunity to walk around a practice facility without being bothered by autograph seekers. But this isn’t about agents or those crazy “internet people” bothering players – this is about Meyer’s need to control every situation.

It’s always to a coach’s benefit to have a closed practice. Players arguably stay focused longer, coaches don’t have to worry about revealing anything (plays, schemes, etc.) and they can scream at the kids without having anyone peering in from the sidelines. Meyer saw an opportunity here to cash in on Nick Saban’s comments about player agents and use it as an excuse to close practice.

Meyer is arrogant. What happened when he didn’t like how an Orlando Sentinel reporter quoted one of his players? He threatened to kick him out of practice and even deemed him a “bad guy” just for doing his job. This is the same man that also plugged Tim Tebow in the media like he was a bottle of Bud Light and now he wants practices closed because some autograph seekers are bothering the players? Come on.

I don’t like your article – you’re banned from practice. I don’t like how you asked for autographs – you’re banned from practice. What is he, the “Soup Nazi?”

I’m not suggesting that Meyer doesn’t care about his players, because he does. But does he really have their best interests at heart here, or is he satisfying his own wants?

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