University of Florida

UF Gators football players facing student conduct review after on-campus altercation

Florida head coach Dan Mullen speaks during the NCAA college football Southeastern Conference media days at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Tuesday, July 17, 2018.
Florida head coach Dan Mullen speaks during the NCAA college football Southeastern Conference media days at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Tuesday, July 17, 2018. AP

Six Florida Gators football players could face discipline from UF’s student conduct board for a May 28 confrontation on campus with a local gambler and his friends that involved UF players holding BB guns.

According to the UF Police Department report, first obtained by Jacksonville’s First Coast News, the incident stemmed from a confrontation outside a UF residential complex between the players and a local gambler named Devante’ Zachery, who also goes by the name “Tay Bang.”

Zachery, who is reported to be friends with UF tight end C’yontai Lewis, was upset with the players after losing bets he placed on the Gators’ during their 2017 season in which UF went 4-7 and fired coach Jim McElwain, according to the report.

Two of the UF players — defensive tackle Kyree Campbell and wide receiver Kadarius Toney — had BB guns, but the tip of Toney’s gun was painted black to resemble a real rifle, according to the report. Lewis also reportedly held a frying pan.

One player said in the report that after Zachary’s group left the scene and returned, someone from Zachery’s group had a baseball bat and another pointed a red laser at one of the football players’ chest.

Toney and 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,” according to the report. Four other players named in the report — wide receivers Tyrie Cleveland, Rick Wells, tight end Kemore Gamble and freshman quarterback Emory Jones — also were recommended to the Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution department for lying to university police.

The players were not charged following the UF Police Department’s investigation.

UF first-year coach Dan Mullen said in a statement that he was made aware of the situation once it occurred and immediately followed campus protocol.

“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,” Mullen said.

This is the second incident to come out this week regarding off-field issues for the Florida football team.

Freshman wide receiver Justin Watkins was arrested Tuesday — his second arrest in three months — and suspended from team activities for allegedly hitting and choking a woman. He faces four charges, including third-degree felonies for kidnapping/false imprisonment and domestic battery by strangulation.

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