Thursday Practice Report

Florida's coach makes his way onto E-Bay. The bidding war reached $1 billion before the site pulled the listing from its pages....

As if it wasn't enough for Ron Zook to have a Web site dedicated to him, the highly criticized coach became even more popular on the internet Thursday.

So popular, in fact, one E-Bay bidder offered more than $999 million to purchase the coach. That's right. An anonymous seller actually placed Zook for sale on the nation's most popular auction site.

The author, who requested anonymity, said he posted the listing as a joke Wednesday at 10 p.m. More than 16 hours later, when E-Bay pulled the phony listing off its site for a breach of rules, the link had received more than 30,000 hits.

At one point Thursday, more than 100 visitors a minute checked in as Zook's price grew from one cent to nearly $1 billion, the author said.

"Sold!" said Ron Zook, when he was asked if he had heard how high his worth had escalated.

The description read: "Going out of business sale! Take him off our hands! Need a dishwasher or cabana boy? He's your man. Just don't use him as a football coach."


Despite his initial concerns, TE Ben Troupe has agreed to fly on the team's charter plane Friday to Baton Rouge, La. Troupe, who voiced his strong dislike for flying earlier in the week, will no longer ride on the equipment bus.

Had he remained grounded, he wouldn't have been the first Gator to stay out of the sky.

Former DT Ellis Johnson refused to get back on the plane after the Gators' charter was forced to make an emergency landing on its way to Gainesville after the Tennessee game.

"When we had the emergency landing in Atlanta, [Athletics Director] Jeremy [Foley] said, ‘you're going to have to talk Ellis into getting back on the plane,'" Zook said. "So I said, ‘there aren't enough people in this airport to get him back on that plane.'"

A team trainer rented a car and drove Ellis back to Gainesville. Ironically, Ellis' hobby now includes flying planes.


Offensive coordinator Ed Zaunbrecher certainly has taken his share of heat as a result of the Gators' 3-3 start. Zook came to his assistant's defense Thursday when asked about the growing criticism.

"I don't know how you can blame anything on one person," Zook said. "How many plays are we from being 6-0? Not very many. A play here, a play there. We are getting better."


Although OT Max Starts continued to suffer from a tooth abscess, Zook said he will play Saturday….LB Channing Crowder and DT Kenny Parker likely will dress for Saturday's game, but Zook didn't know the extent of playing time – if any – either will see. "They both did some stuff."…. The upcoming three-game road trip actually marks one of the toughest stretches in school history. The Gators will play three consecutive ranked opponents for only the second time ever – No. 6 LSU, No. 7 Arkansas and No. 8 Georgia, in that order…. Florida coach Ron Zook and LSU coach Nick Saban have a long-standing friendship that dates back to Nov. 11, 1972. The pair met on the same field, as Saban played defensive back for Kent State while Zook played defensive back for Miami of Ohio. Saban's team defeated Zook's, 21-10. It was one of four losses Zook faced in his collegiate career.

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