Report: Urban Meyer closes practice

Updated: August 8, 2010, 12:14 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Florida coach Urban Meyer has closed practices to the public, citing problems with agents and autograph hounds, the Palm Beach Post reported.

Meyer told the Post he wants to protect his team from "internet people" and "scumbags".

"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."

Florida's first two practices were open to fans and media last season. Meyer decided to close practices down to shield his players from agents, runners and people who ask for autographs to sell them on eBay.

Former Florida offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey has been accused of accepting $100,000 from an agent's runner. Pouncey has denied the claim, and the investigation is ongoing.

"I'm concerned about the stuff where you get NCAA violations and scumbags that are involved that shouldn't be involved," Meyer told the Post. "One way to control it and that's 'get out.'"