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Zook to fans: ' Y'all are to blame'

OK, Ron Zook didn’t come right out and say exactly that.

But, in a talk with the Chicago Sun-Times, the Illinois head coach blamed the negativity surrounding the football program — from fans to boosters to the media — for his school’s dismal showing last season.

(For the sake of argument, we’re assuming that, much like last year’s abysmal 3-9 mark, the Negative Nancy’s prancing around Champaign are to blame for the 5-7 season in 2008 as well.)

“Sometimes I think as a university and as a group of fans, we shoot ourselves in the foot,” Zook told the Sun-Times. “The negative recruiting, it all stems from us, from our own people. Rather than getting behind the program, they want to start lambasting it.

“The negative recruiting was the worst I’ve ever seen it this year. But a lot of that is our own people. There’s not enough people that believe this program can be where it can be. You’re changing attitudes. You’re changing beliefs. ‘There they go again. They can’t sustain it.’ When you go back and look at what’s happened the last 25 years, it’s going to take a tough son of a [gun] to get through that.”

Zook also went on to say that he instructs his players on the evils of the media and Internet, so presumably they’re encouraged to stay away from web pages such as THIS ONE.

You know you’re coaching seat is red hot when you have to assume the “la-la-la-I-can’t-hear-you” tack in handling critics.

Anyway, enjoy The Zookster Farewell Tour.  It should be fun.

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Respond to “Zook to fans: ' Y'all are to blame'”
  1. robesi says: Feb 22, 2010 3:06 PM

    Wow, John. What the hell did the Illini – or Zook for that matter – ever do to you?
    I can’t remember the last time a journalist stretched a “story” into a headline worse than you just did.
    Oh wait, that’s right…you’re not a journalist.

  2. josecanseco says: Feb 22, 2010 5:13 PM

    Haha Zook sucks. Um would somebody expain to the Zooker that all the negativity surrounding the program stems from the fact that A.) They have sucked 2.) Juice Williams actually got worse as his career went along and 4.) They have sucked.
    While I don’t want to speak for the writer I can answer the question “what the hell did the Illini – or Zook for that matter – ever do to you?”…. They have sucked. Thats what they have done to me. They have sucked and I actually have to watch them play once a year. Zook sucks period.

  3. chicagosundevil says: Feb 22, 2010 6:55 PM

    Uh, yeah. Nice article here buddy. You might want to go out and actually “interview” someone.
    With that said, maybe the reason Zook is blaming everyone else is that he won 3-games last year? Tends to work that way.

  4. Bious says: Feb 22, 2010 9:51 PM

    And the reason for them lambasting it is because you suck as a Head Coach and the L’s show it

  5. bluths says: Feb 23, 2010 9:17 AM

    Illinois fans can take some positives from the soon to end Zook era, here is what Gator fans took: 1) He recruited the talent that a good coach used to win a title with. 2) He showed us the program’s expected floor for wins any year is 7-8, with a bowl. 3) He gave us a permanent “perspective” on things. “Hey, we went 9-3 and didn’t quite get where we were hoping, but it’s still better than the Zooker years!” The Illini just need to start figuring out what the Zooker has done for you before finding a better game day coach. Maybe – “Hey, at least this coach doesn’t blame a 3-9 season on ‘negativity’ “.

  6. Myballshurt says: Feb 23, 2010 2:15 PM

    Does Florio know you are referencing an ESPN site? Giving them hits………you might want to start looking for a real job!

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