COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Mullen issues statement as six Gators face discipline
GAINESVILLE — More University of Florida football players could face disciplinary action, this time stemming from an on-campus confrontation involving police on May 28 at Keys Residential Complex.
Ten players were named in a UF police report first obtained by First Coast News on Wednesday night. Six of them must face the student conduct board and could face discipline for their alleged roles in the incident, which involved airsoft guns, a baseball bat, rocks and a frying pan.
Receiver Kadarius Toney and defensive tackle Kyree Campbell were recommended to UF’s Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution Department for possible punishment for "holding and pointing what appears to be an assault rifle at other individuals on campus,” though the gun was later determined to be an airsoft gun.
Receivers Tyrie Cleveland and Rick Wells, tight end Kemore Gamble and quarterback Emory Jones were also recommended for allegedly lying to police about the incident.
Florida head coach Dan Mullen issued a statement following the report’s release.
“We were made aware of the incident when it occurred and immediately began following campus protocol,” Mullen said. “This has been an opportunity for us to educate our players about the dangers and negative perceptions that can occur when conflict arises, and how important honesty and good decision making is.”
According to the report, the May incident involved local gambler Devante Zachery, also known as “Tay Bang.” The report says Zachery, 21, and Lewis were friends, but a rift occurred when Zachery was upset about losing bets he placed on games during the 2017 Gators’ 4-7 season, which included calling the team “garbage.”
On the night of May 28, Zachery and his friends were standing outside the residence hall asking people if they'd seen Cleveland. A group of Florida players gathered at the complex to confront the men, who left in their vehicles. The report goes on to say that one of the players heard one of the men say, "We coming back strapped."
That prompted the players to leave the scene and return to a dorm room before fleeing out of a back window when they saw Zachery’s group return. The players told police one of the men had a handgun and another had a baseball bat, with one member of Zachery’s group pointing a red laser at the chest of one player and threatening, “Come any closer, I'll spray you."
Meanwhile, Zachery told police one player was holding “some sort of assault rifle,” while others were holding rocks and a frying pan.
UF police officers didn't find any bullets at the scene but did find a frying pan that “was seen on camera being used” by a player later identified as Lewis. None of the players face criminal charges as the result of a investigation from eight weeks ago.
Zachery was ordered by police to stay off university property for three years.
This is the second time this week Florida has made the news for the wrong reasons. Freshman defensive tackle Justin Watkins was suspended indefinitely on Wednesday following his second arrest in 10 weeks. Watkins faces four charges, including two third-degree felonies for false imprisonment/kidnapping and domestic battery by strangulation.