FOOTBALL: What we think and what we know

A lot has been made about the possible player defections due to the firing of Coach Zook and the uncertainty it leaves behind for the players that are currently on the team. We reported what the players were saying, nothing more. This is a volatile situation and in the middle of a volatile time of the football season. I just want to share a few things we know are happening and a few things that I think will happen.

First, let's start with what we know. There are a lot of very unhappy Gators right now. A lot of them were promised by their coaches and the athletic administration that this staff was going to be around for their full stay at the University of Florida. Just like some players are and were mad when SOS left, some are mad that their coach was forced to leave by the people that said otherwise. Like it or not, these guys are around this staff some 20 hours a week and even more if they desire to do extra work in their offices. They have grown attached to them and expected for them to be around for the rest of their careers. Of course they care about winning, but like the staff, they expected to start seeing results on the field hopefully sooner than later. However, for now their world has been turned upside down.

A group of players have talked about leaving. This is an absolutely normal reflex for a situation similar to this. One reason this is so magnified is the access the media has to the players due to it being in the middle of the season. Every single question asked is about the coaching change. The fact is some will leave. No one knows who, but it is inevitable. There is no way of knowing how many.

Some have told the staff of their intentions to leave. I know for a fact that the staff has made a lot of effort to dissuade this thought. I don't know what the conclusions are, but more than likely they were told to wait and see what happens. There is plenty of time to make a decision like that and they need to investigate it further before making a hasty one..

On to what we think.

History tells us that it won't be as many as some speculate. Each individual will have to look inward and see just what it all means to them to leave a place they have dedicated themselves to. Yes, they did dedicate themselves to Ron Zook and his staff, but he has told them from day one, "it is the players that sell the University of Florida, not the staff." These guys will most likely band together; they are a brotherhood of sorts. They are now hurt as brothers, they will stick together and fight as brothers. There is a special bond in this group of kids. Sometimes it doesn't translate on the field, but this is an exceptionally close group.

What the fans need to do and realize is that every media opportunity right now is in their face about all the things that have happened outside of the football field. The constant barrage of questions comes when they are torn up about the situation, both with guilt and anger. They do feel guilty over the firing of their leader. They feel they let him down. It is a natural response. They do feel anger for those that passed the judgment down unsuspectingly. Again, this is a natural response.

Time heals all wounds. This one cuts deep for the players but the bleeding will stop. Some will make the change they feel is necessary and that change will hurt the fans that love them. Most will not.

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