Blog Entry

Ron Zook is not here to talk about Ron Zook

Posted on: November 15, 2011 3:53 pm
 
Posted by Adam Jacobi

Illinois is on a four-game losing streak this season, and considering the Illini have to face Wisconsin this week, that could easily turn into a five-game losing streak. That's bad news for head coach Ron Zook, who came into the season firmly on the hot seat and who appeared to have turned off the flames by leading his team to a 6-0 start -- only to not win a game since.

Well, rumors about Zook's future are flying once again, and while they're not enough to merit an official report, they are enough to worry Zook to the point that at his weekly press conference, he stated ahead of time that he wouldn't be answering any questions about his future.

Said Zook at the press conference, "Before we get going, this thing's about our football team, it's about the team that we're playing, about the things going on with our football team. It's not about me, not about my future; I think our fans and our players deserve that. And if you feel compelled to talk about that, then my part will be over with."

Reporter Shannon Ryan of the Chicago Tribune then asked Zook how he was keeping his players from being distracted by any rumors of his departure. Technically and logically, it satisfied Zook's criterion for asking a football-related question. In practice, however, it was enough for a good old-fashioned walk-out.

[Watch the video of Ron Zook storming out of the Illinois press conference here.] 

Obviously, it's up to Zook how much he does and doesn't want to discuss, and Shannon knew what she was doing when she asked the question. But walking out of a press conference because of one question is still hardly the way to maintain a great deal of dignity and public pride in the midst of a losing streak. Listen to the questions, calmly decline to answer them each time. Take your lumps. "Be a man," in a football coach's parlance. Right?
Comments

Since: Apr 6, 2007
Posted on: November 15, 2011 8:43 pm
 

Ron Zook is not here to talk about Ron Zook

Storming?  That was more like an calm Autumn breeze.

I wish more coaches stuck it to the media folks like this instead of playing the PC game.  Need more Mike Gundy outbreaks. 



Since: Aug 4, 2008
Posted on: November 15, 2011 7:41 pm
 

Ron Zook is not here to talk about Ron Zook

The reporter was stupid or completely ignorant. The ground rules were explained to all in the room. We will not discuss me, this interview or news conference is about the team, the current team we will be playing.

Any questions concerning me, and the news conference is over.

Now this ignorant woman decided to see if the rules were true by asking this question. At one time you had to have a degree to become a news reporter. I suppose some might have slipped through the crack.

I am glad to see that there are still men of integrity in the world. I would have walked out also.   

“ONE MAN’S OPINION”





Since: Sep 18, 2009
Posted on: November 15, 2011 6:36 pm
 

Ron Zook is not here to talk about Ron Zook

Maybe the press will actually listen to what's being said and report on it, instead of trying to create what hey want to be said?


Just a logical thought.  



Since: Oct 26, 2011
Posted on: November 15, 2011 6:07 pm
 

Ron Zook is not here to talk about Ron Zook

Ron Zook is a Great recruiter.People forget Urban Meyer won with Zooks Kids at Fla.then look what happened.Urban quit,and Fla is Still losing.Last but not least,the female reporter sounds like a attention Diva.She is why woman have no business in Locker Rooms either.You don't see men in females locker rooms.Just think what would happen if a male reporter ask Pat Summitt a Question like this.There would be investgation,and we would never hear the end of it.



Since: Nov 15, 2011
Posted on: November 15, 2011 5:59 pm
 

Ron Zook is not here to talk about Ron Zook

Maybe Zook will return to the SEC at Mississippi or Kentucky.



Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: November 15, 2011 5:49 pm
 

Ron Zook is not here to talk about Ron Zook

Him walking out of the press conference like a baby will surely help the team focus for its next game.  There are several ways Zook could have answered the question without even mentioning his situation, but he is not bright enough to figure that out.  A coach that has lost five in a row does not really have a right to dictate how things will go.  Zook is a goner. 



Since: Mar 8, 2011
Posted on: November 15, 2011 5:27 pm
 

Ron Zook is not here to talk about Ron Zook

It was a football related question.  How can you keep your team focused with all the distractions of his demise.  The question was about the team's focus. 

Couldn't disagree more.  If it was really about the team's focus, why even mention the distractions? Let's say someone in Les Miles' family passes and the press is asked not to discuss the subject.  If he gets asked about how he's going to keep his team focused given the family crisis, would you really think that was a football question?  It was obviously a loaded question targeting his future. I'm sure the other reporters were thrilled with her putting an end to the interview for them.

My two cents - I get tired of a majority of the coach and player interviews anyway. The answers are almost always the same: We win as a team, we lose as a team, blah blah blah. 



Since: Feb 22, 2008
Posted on: November 15, 2011 5:13 pm
 

Ron Zook is not here to talk about Ron Zook

Obviously, it's up to Zook how much he does and doesn't want to discuss, and Shannon knew what she was doing when she asked the question. But walking out of a press conference because of one question is still hardly the way to maintain a great deal of dignity and public pride in the midst of a losing streak. Listen to the questions, calmly decline to answer them each time. Take your lumps. "Be a man," in a football coach's parlance. Right?
Wrong.  Zook told everyone in the freaking room what the rules were.  Ryan decided to play games, and in my opinion Zook is under no obligation to waste his time and aggravation on some reporter who thinks she is being clever.  I have news for you: you are not clever.  Zook makes one simple rule, and this one reporter doesn't seem to care.  I have no problem with Zook leaving.  Maybe some of these reporters will finally learn that just because Zook is in front of a microphone doesn't make him your plaything.  If you want to be some sort of saavy journalist and get the scoop, go back to the good old days of finding people behind the scenes, interviewing boosters, whatever.  Being obnoxious doesn't count as investigative journalism.



Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: November 15, 2011 5:07 pm
 

Ron Zook is not here to talk about Ron Zook

It was a football related question.  How can you keep your team focused with all the distractions of his demise.  The question was about the team's focus.  Zook is way too sensitive to be a HC at this level.  He should be let go at the end of the season.  Then again, he is about .500 again this season.  If that is good enough for Illinois, then maybe they will want him to stay.  He did not do himself any favors today. 



Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: November 15, 2011 4:54 pm
 

Ron Zook is not here to talk about Ron Zook

First of all, he didn't "storm" out by any stretch of that phrase. He set ground rules and calmly and collectedly walked off when they were broken. Secondly, "Be a man"? Really? If that non-sensical phrase still applies to anything then I must just not get it. Third, you could tell she knew she shouldn't ask the question. If you know you shouldn't ask, don't ask. The integrity rules apply here. As much as Zook is an awful coach at times, he's a great guy who has taken the program in a good direction and at this point the Illinois media should respect him when he sets a rule like that, regardless of personal opinions on it.


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