Updated at 5:10 p.m., adding quotes, detailsVERO BEACH — It’s finally official, the University of South Florida football team will be holding part of its training camp at the Vero Beach Sports Village.
The Division 1-A school will be arriving Sunday with the first practices scheduled for Monday. It is believed that some, if not all, of the sessions will be open to the public. The two sides had been in negotiations for months and just got the deal done.
“The hold up was that it had to go through the university system to get approved,” Vero Beach Sports Village Vice President Craig Callan said Tuesday.
The team, which is under first-year coach Skip Holtz, will be at the Dodgertown facilities from Aug. 8 to Aug. 19. Fall classes begin at USF on Aug. 23.
In the past Dodgertown has hosted football camps by the New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Hurricanes. The Saints held training camp in Vero Beach during July and August in 10 of the 11 years between 1974 and 1984.
The visit by USF to Dodgertown would be the first off-campus pre-season practice by the school, which is the ninth-largest university in the nation. The Bulls are coming off an 8-5 season, capped by a 27-3 International Bowl victory over Northern Illinois.
Holtz is the son of coaching legend Lou Holtz. Skip Holtz took over for Jim Leavitt, who was fired last January for reportedly physically abusing a player and then attempting a cover-up.”With the need to move off campus due to the construction, we felt it was crucial to create the best environment for team building during our first preseason camp,” said Coach Skip Holtz. “The Vero Beach Sports Village is the ideal location for our entire program to get away. The setting and amenities will allow our team to limit distractions and focus on preparing in the best way possible for the 2010 season.”
The Bulls, who play in the Big East Conference, open the season Sept. 4 at home against Stony Brook.Dodgertown is currently hosting The Westminster School football training camp. Over a hundred players and staff from the Atlanta high school arrived Sunday and are training at the facility until Friday.