Ron Zook to 'deal with' Jonathan Brown

Updated: October 2, 2011, 5:07 PM ET
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com

Illinois coach Ron Zook said Sunday he would "deal with" sophomore linebacker Jonathan Brown after Brown appeared to intentionally knee Northwestern offensive lineman Patrick Ward in the groin during Saturday's game.

Following a play in the second quarter, Brown walked up to Ward, lifted his right knee and appeared to connect with Ward's groin. Ward bent over and grabbed the area with both hands. A personal foul was called on Brown, and he remained in the game.

Zook was vague about whether his staff would enact any further punishment on Brown and said he did not know whether he would hear anything more on the personal foul from the Big Ten.

He also did not answer when asked whether Brown would play on Saturday against Indiana.

"I'll deal with it," Zook said. "I'm going to deal with it. He knows better than that."

Zook said there was a lot of extracurricular activity going on between the two rivals during Saturday's game, a 38-35 Illinois win, but it did not excuse Brown's action.

"When you get into a game like this, there's a lot of talking and pushing and shoving on both sides," Zook said. "I guarantee you'll never see that again."

Scott Powers covers high school and college sports for ESPNChicago.com and can be reached at spowers@espnchicago.com.

Scott Powers is the Blackhawks beat reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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