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Report: Florida football players involved in confrontation with gambler named Tay Bang that involved airsoft guns, frying pan, rocks

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There’s a series of words we never thought would appear together in the same headline.

According to First Coast News, six Florida football players are facing university discipline following an on-campus confrontation in late May with a Gainesville-area gambler named Devante’ “Tay Bang” Zachery that involved airsoft guns, a frying pan, a baseball bat and rocks.  The beef originally stemmed from Zachery allegedly calling the football team “garbage” after he lost money betting on the Gators.

Per the report, “[w]ide receiver Kadarius Toney and defensive tackle Kyree Campbell were recommended to UF’s Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution department for an ‘incident by holding and pointing what appears to be assault rifles (later determined to be airsoft rifles) at other individuals on campus.” Additionally, the website wrote, “[w]ide receivers Tyrie Cleveland, Rick Wells, tight end Kemore Gamble and quarterback Emory Jones were also recommended to the Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution department for lying to university police about the incident in question.”

Tight end C’yontai Lewis was also mentioned in First Coast News‘ report as having a “good relationship” with Zachery before ceasing that association, although it doesn’t appear he’s facing any university sanctions.

As for the confrontation that was the end result of the bad blood?  It was apparently straight out of “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy.”

University police began their investigation after a witness called 911 in reference to a suspicious person. The witness said he saw 10 people arguing and believed they had guns. The witness added, “the weapons resemble assault rifles.”

The scene was captured on surveillance and cell phone video, the 17-page incident report states. The video shows “about 10–15 individuals, holding what appeared to be weapons,” according to the report.

Zachery, 21, and his friends were waiting for the football players near the dorms. The football players began to confront the group, but left in vehicles, the report states. As the group left, they could be heard yelling, “We coming back strapped,” the report states.

The other group returned and a confrontation ensued. One player reported the group had a baseball bat, a red laser being pointed at another player’s chest and another individual threatening “Come any closer, I’ll spray you.”

Zachery told police, he observed one football player holding “some sort of assault rifle and some others were [holding] rocks.” Police wrote, they didn’t believe Zachery’s story and thought he was minimizing the incidents he was describing, the report states.

According to the player, once they heard police sirens, and everyone left.

Video evidence also showed that one, unnamed football player was using a frying pan during the confrontation

Neither the university nor the football program have commented on the bizarre development.  It should be noted that none of the football players involved have been charged with any sort of crime.

Cleveland (pictured) led the Gators in receiving yards (410) and was second in receptions (22) last season, while Toney’s 15 catches for 152 yards were both fourth on the team.  Campbell played in nine games in 2017, while Gamble took a redshirt his true freshman season.  Jones was a four-star member of UF’s 2018 recruiting class.

As for Wells?  This issue could prove worrisome based on his recent off-field past.

Wells was one of several Florida players suspended for the entire 2017 season for the misuse of scholarship money at a bookstore, with some nine players total caught up in making improper charges on student IDs and selling said items for cash.  He was one of the four suspended players who returned to the team in late January.

CB Tony Butler posts classy, heartfelt goodbye in announcing transfer from Nebraska

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Thanks to a Nebraska football player, we won’t have to go through an entire day without a portal post.  Hurray?

Late this past week, Tony Butler announced in a very classy, heartfelt post on Twitter that he will be entering the NCAA transfer database.  The move would serve as the first step in a departure from the Nebraska football program.

The cornerback could also return to the Nebraska football team if he so desires.

That said, Butler would be leaving the Cornhuskers as a graduate transfer.  The 2020 season will be his final year of collegiate eligibility.

“In 2016, I came here as an 18-year-old kid lost and looking for a home.  Nebraska, you became my home and brought me in with open arms,” Butler wrote. “This place became very special. …

“Nebraska, you have done an incredible job at helping a lost boy become a man.  My family and I are forever grateful for this opportunity.”

A three-star 2016 signee, Butler was rated as the No. 22 player regardless of position in the state of Ohio.  He took a redshirt as a true freshman.

The past three seasons, Butler played in 27 games.  Four of those appearances came in 2019, which was likely the trigger for the decision to transfer.  Most of the games played came on special teams.

Butler is the third player to leave the Nebraska football program in a week.

Linebacker Pernell Jefferson, a three-star 2016 signee, entered the portal Wednesday.  Days before that, offensive lineman John Raridon decided to retire from football to pursue a career in architecture.

Five-star Penn State WR Justin Shorter tweets transfer to Florida

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The Florida Gators football program is the latest to benefit from Ye Olde Transfer Portal.

In late November, Justin Shorter took the initial step in transferring from Penn State by entering the NCAA database.  Two months to the day later, the wide receiver took to Twitter to announce that he has committed to continuing his collegiate playing career as part of the Florida Gators football team.

As of yet, UF has not announced Shorter’s addition to the roster.

A five-star member of the Nittany Lions’ 2018 recruiting class, Shorter was rated as the No. 1 receiver in the country; the No. 1 player at any position in the state of New Jersey; and the No. 8 recruit overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board.  Only defensive end Micah Parsons was rated higher than Shorter in Franklin’s class that year.

Limited to four games as a true freshman in large part because of injuries, Shorter caught three passes for 20 yards in 2018.  In 11 games this season, Shorter caught 12 passes for 137 yards.

Barring the unexpected, Shorter will have to sit out the 2020 season to satisfy NCAA transfer bylaws.  He would then have two seasons of eligibility beginning in 2021.

World of college football reacts to tragic deaths of Kobe Bryant, 13-year-old daughter in helicopter crash

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As is the case across the entire world of sports, college football is reacting to the devastating news involving Kobe Bryant.

Sunday morning, Bryant was one of nine people killed — initial reports had the number at five — in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on his way to a travel basketball event.  The former NBA superstar, who retired from the sport following the 2015-16 season, was 41.

Adding to the devastation, one of Bryant’s daughters, who was also a player on her father’s travel basketball team, 13-year-old Gianna Maria Bryant, was killed in the crash as well.

Kobe and Gianna are survived by wife/mother Vanessa and three daughters/sisters.  The oldest is 17, the youngest will turn one in June.

In the hours after the heartbreaking news was confirmed, the world of college football mourned the passing of Kobe Bryant. Below is just a sampling.

 

Georgia state rep. proposes pay-for-play legislation with a twist that will make no one happy

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Ever since California’s SB 206 passed last September, more than a dozen states followed with their own versions of the Golden State’s Fair Pay to Play Act, to go along with a number of concurrent pushes in Washington. No matter your stance on the pay-for-play issue or what side of the political aisle you sit on, it seems we can all agree that politicians are not the people to solve this issue, and yet the NCAA kept dragging its feet, and dragging its feet, and draaaaggging its feeetttt and, well, here we are. And Sandra Scott‘s bill a large reason why.

Scott, a state representative in Georgia (D-Rex) has introduced HB 766, a type of compromise bill that will make no one happy.

The appeal, at least from the outside, of California’s SB 206, is that it would allow college athletes to capitalize on their popularity during the lifetime of that popularity while costing the school very little money, since the money would come from third-parties.

Scott’s bill does neither. In fact, it goes out of its way to do the opposite.

According to HB 766, Georgia would require its schools to set aside a third of all monies earned in postseason play into an escrow account, which would then be given to players upon graduation.

Read for yourself below.

To recap, Scott’s bill would cost the schools millions of dollars and also shut out a lot of the players who generate those millions. Why should, say, Jake Fromm be barred from having a hand in the money he produced for Georgia just because he went pro?

In short, Scott’s (well-meaning) bill would anger both schools and athletes while continuing the overly paternalistic attitudes adults have adopted toward college athletes that applies to no other demographic in college sports.