GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida coach Ron Zook acknowledged Wednesday that he confronted several fraternity members after a fight between them and three of his players last month, and athletic director Jeremy Foley called Zook's behavior "unacceptable."
Foley called Zook on Sept. 16 and told him to go to the Pi Kappa Phi house to defuse a dispute between fraternity members and several football players. But when Zook arrived he threatened fraternity members, according to witnesses.
He said, "I will do anything in my power to take this house down," according to a University Police Department incident report obtained by the Orlando Sentinel and The Palm Beach Post.
Earlier that day, three Pi Kappa Phi members allegedly fought with reserve offensive linemen Billy Griffin, Drew Miller and Steve Rissler.
Griffin received abrasions and bruises in the fight while Rissler sustained a laceration and a broken nose that caused him to miss the Sept. 18 game at Tennessee.
A sworn complaint was filed with the State Attorney's Office accusing fraternity members Aaron Baseman and Dustin Robinson, both 19, and Justin Bailey, 20, of breach of peace and disorderly conduct. The State Attorney's Office will investigate the complaint and decide whether to file charges.
Zook's actions were legal, though he issued an apologetic statement Wednesday.
"At the time, I didn't think the exchange was confrontational," Zook said, a day after he downplayed his role in the incident. "If I raised my voice, I apologize. This university deserves to be represented in the right way and in a professional way.
"I care deeply about our players, and because of that, sometimes my emotions get the better of me."
Foley said the matter was handled internally, but he refused to defend the longtime friend he hired in 2002 to replace Steve Spurrier.
"Coach Zook went there with the intention of keeping his players out of trouble, which he did, but he let his emotions get the best of him," Foley said. "Obviously, certain aspects of that evening could have been handled better and some of his behavior was unacceptable."