Dan Mullen might have bit off a little more than he can chew. Six months after he was hired to take over the Florida football program, seven of his players were involved in a confrontation that featured BB guns, a baseball bat, a frying pan and a local gambler.
Police were called to the Keys Residential Complex on May 28 to investigate a disturbance. What they found were about a dozen people in a heated confrontation.
The incident was sparked by senior tight end C’yontai Lewis’ relationship with Devante Zachery, a local gambler who goes by the name of “Tay Bang.” The two were good friends when the Gators won, but not so much when they lost seven games in 2017.
Tay Bang was waiting to confront Lewis about the losses in front Lewis’ apartment complex. Lewis arrived with six other players — freshman quarterback Emory Jones, wide receivers Rick Wells, Kadarius Toney and Tyrie Cleveland, defensive tackle Kyree Campbell and tight end Kemore Gamble.
When the situation got heated, several players left the scene to get a wide assortment of weapons. The police report says some were holding rocks, BB guns and even a frying pan, while one of Tay Bang’s associates carried a baseball bat. The BB guns were painted all-black to resemble an AR-15. Before the confrontation could escalate any further, police arrived and people scattered. Nobody was arrested and five players face disciplinary action by the school, which could affect their status with the team.
“We were made aware of the incident when it occurred and immediately began following campus protocol,” Mullen said in a statement. “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.”
For wide receivers Wells and Cleveland, it’s their second BB gun incident since they arrived at Florida. Kadrius Toney is the Gators’ leading returning wide receiver and Emory Jones was the nation’s top-ranked dual-threat quarterback in the 2018 recruiting class.
The report surfaced just days after Mullen suspended highly-touted freshman defensive back Justin Watkins following his second arrest in ten weeks. He now faces four charges, including a pair of felonies, for allegedly hitting his girlfriend.