Last Friday, we wrote about Urban Meyer questioning Ron Zook’s reign at Florida, and how horrified the new Gators coach was to learn that during his predecessor’s tenure, freshman players were treated as “non-people“. Hey, you can’t just go around zinging the Zooker without expecting any kind of heated response.
Well, you’ll eventually get a heated response. At first, Zook was allegedly amused by Meyer’s comments, even joking that he doubted anyone in Gainesville would even remember who he was. But after having a few hours to think about it, Zook soon changed his tune from amusement to annoyance.
“I was surprised to see that, once again, five years later, we’re blamed for something else at Florida. But by now I guess I shouldn’t be. This one was most disappointing because it implies we didn’t look out for our players. From someone who wasn’t there at the time. I can assure you I’ve never, ever been accused of that. I thought I was too much of a players’ coach. The implication is incorrect _ there is no place for hazing in college football and we’ve put a stop to that if we’ve ever seen it.”
Yeah, Urban, what the heck do you know? You were off leading Utah to an undefeated season & Fiesta Bowl victory while Ron’s Gators were being upended by the likes of Mississippi State. In fact, when Zook says he was “too much of a players’ coach“, he might be implying that he was too nice of a guy to achieve any success in Gainesville, and that the only way to win with the Gators is to be a complete jerk.
Well, it seemed to work for Steve Spurrier. So take that, Meyer!
But Zook is in a happier place now at Urbana-Champaign, where there’s no Fighting amongst the Illini - just one big, happy family:
“I applaud Florida for fostering what they say is a wonderful family atmosphere. I would invite anyone to talk to any of our players here at Illinois and, although we don’t look for media opportunities to brag about it, it is a wonderful family atmosphere.”
And if any freshmen say otherwise, Ron’s gonna kick their tails & shave their eyebrows.