More Great News for FSU Football.

When you're an FSU football fan, a quiet summer is a good summer. But that just ended for us. Thanks to my boy Jeff McCrea down there in JVille listening to the sports radio, we get this little nugget of good news.  How can a guy this talented be this stupid? It boggles the mind.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Florida State WR Parker arrested on drug, weapons charges
Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida State officials said they will have an announcement on the future of standout receiver Preston Parker after the athlete's arrest in South Florida on drug and weapons charges.
According to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, Parker was arrested early Tuesday on charges of carrying a concealed .45-caliber handgun and possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana.
Parker was named Florida State's most valuable player last season after leading the team with 1,513 all-purpose yards and 62 receptions.
The 21-year-old's arrest is the first major discipline problem at the school since the arrival of new athletic director Randy Spetman earlier this year.

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Published in: on April 22, 2008 at 7:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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When Does Manuel Become “The Man?”

FSU's spring practice just wrapped up, and the guy you see in this picture wasn't there. He's EJ Manuel, a true freshman QB coming in this season who is one of the biggest "name" recruits we've had in years. After he committed early, he was actually out trying to recruit other players to come to FSU. To get a good sense of who he is, check out this great article by Orlando Sentinel writer Andrew Carter. And you can read more thoughts from Andrew here on his "Chopping Block" blog. After reading the article, I'm even more excited about this kid. Sounds like a quality person with his head in the right place. And just the kind of leader we need on and off the field.

By the way. I have an ongoing argument with my peeps that EJ has a chance to make an impact next year. My argument goes like this…it sounds like Ponder didn't necessarily jump up and cement himself as the starter this spring…Jimbo knows very well what he has in Drew Weatherford…DeVontrey may actually end up at another position where he can touch the ball more…and more than any other player he's come in contact with since he arrived in Tallahassee, Jimbo now has "his guy" on the team.

Look, it's a very long sentence and a very thin proposition. True freshmen rarely can simply pick up the ball and play when they make the jump to 1-A. I get that. But if you're Jimbo, do you muddle through a season going back and forth between Ponder and Weatherford? Or do you go ahead and roll the dice with EJ and build for the future?

To me, FSU has two years to get back in the hunt and get this program back into the thick of things. And I think I'm like many other fans, my expectations for this season simply aren't all that high. It's next season when I expect to see serious results on the field. So if I'm Jimbo and I have two years, I'm gonna make this year work for me and start building around my quarterback right now.

Here's some more thoughts on the subject from another Nole watcher in Tallahassee:

"You know, I tend to agree with you: I don't think it's a given at all that E.J. will automatically redshirt, and he could make things more interesting than people think come August. I know the conventional wisdom is that E.J. needs to redshirt just because he's a freshman and will be behind three upperclassmen. But I think he's going to make it extremely difficult for Jimbo to sit him down for the year. This is something Jimbo has acknowledged privately.

It's worth noting, too, that E.J. will be here in Tallahassee on June 16. He'll have a good month a half to get acclimated, to workout, to get to know his teammates and get adjusted. He's a kid that doesn't waste any time, so he'll use that month and a half to the fullest.

And you're right: Neither Ponder nor Richardson stepped up and took command of the offense this spring, though I do think that Ponder left Jimbo feeling good about things by the end of camp. As for Richardson, I think his best bet would be to switch positions. He's not going to beat out Ponder or Weatherford in August, and he's likely going to fall behind E.J., as well.

I think you bring up a good point about the need to build for the future and maybe sacrifice some limited immediate success for growing pains that will pay off in the future. But an interesting dynamic there is how that philosophy might sit with Coach Bowden. Jimbo probably would be willing to sacrifice now if he believed it would pay big dividends down the road, but I don't think Bowden would agree. The clock is obviously ticking for him and he when he walks away — and I tend to believe that this will be his last season if FSU can win about 9 games — he wants to give the appearance that he's leaving the program in very good shape. What he doesn't want is to leave after another 7-6 type of year and then watch as Jimbo cleans up the mess during the next couple seasons. So I think there's very much going to be a "win now" kind of attitude among the players and coaches this season.

But who knows, maybe E.J. is the best guy if FSU wants to win now. Preseason camp should be fun to follow."

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Published in: on April 16, 2008 at 1:07 pm  Comments (2)  
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One of the greatest plays in the history of FSU football.

But don't watch this video just to see that.

A couple things that strike me about this video:

-Check out how Doak Campbell looks at the start of the clip, before ESPN goes into the replay. Man, that's old school. We used to call it the "Tinkertoy" set. And if you're old enough to have played with those, you're old enough to understand how bad it looked. Doak Campbell has come as long a way as any stadium in the country.

-Also, check out the fans. Loud. Into the moment. The people who filled those seats back then weren't spoiled.

-How great is Bobby Bowden's demonstration of the play during his press conference?

-And then this interaction later on:

Reporter: Why'd you do that?
Bowden: I wanted somebody to win. We were determined somebody gonna win that game.

Old school Bobby Bowden at his dadgum best. I love it. And I hope we see some more of it before St. Bobby moves on. I love that old man.

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Published in: on April 3, 2008 at 7:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Probation for two years…scholarships cut.

Here's the results of FSU's self-investigation. Let's hope this is good enough for the NCAA. And let's hope this is the end of it.

TALLAHASSEE — As a result of an academic fraud scandal that affected approximately 50 athletes, Florida State has placed itself on two years probation and will reduce the number of scholarships in several sports.

Those are two of the penalties FSU has imposed on itself in the wake of an academic misconduct case the university had investigated since spring 2007. The university today released the findings of that internal investigation, which it has submitted to the NCAA. FSU’s probe resulted in several self-imposed penalties.

In addition to the scholarship reductions and the probation, which began Wednesday, FSU listed four other "punitive actions:"

-The firing of the "Learning Specialist" and tutor at the center of the scandal.

-The requirement of all athletics department administrative and non-administrative staff to attend a four-hour training program instructed by an outside consultant on "decision-making in the NCAA compliance environment."

-Personnel changes at five senior level positions within the athletic department and within the university’s Athletic Academic Support Services (AASS) department.

-And the review and enhancement of the working relationship between learning specialist positions within the AASS and the university-wide Student Disability Resource Center.

FSU’s internal investigation began in late March 2007, when one athlete came forward and said that a "Learning Specialist" – since identified as Dr. Brenda Monk – instructed him to take an online quiz for another athlete. Monk provided the quiz answers to the unidentified athlete, who was not enrolled in the course in which the quiz had been assigned.

The university then commissioned its Office of Audit Services to conduct an investigation, which found that Monk and a tutor had enabled 23 athletes to cheat in various forms. FSU had hoped to submit its report to the NCAA in October but, with the help of outside consultant Chuck Smrt, the university’s probe widened significantly to include approximately 50 athletes in various sports.

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Published in: on February 14, 2008 at 7:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Seminoles: Good news and bad news.

The bad news is that FSU's self-report to the NCAA comes out today. So we'll see how that all shakes out.

The good news is that our recruiting class for 2009 is already shaping up to be really good. And it's barely even started. Remember, these guys are all still juniors at this point.

Also, the Florida State football schedule has been released. And here it is:

Sept. 6 Western Carolina
Sept. 13 UT Chattanooga
Sept. 20 Wake Forest
Sept. 27 Colorado (Jacksonville)
Oct. 4 at Miami
Oct. 11 OPEN DATE
Oct. 16 at NC State (Thu.)
Oct. 25 Virginia Tech
Nov. 1 at Georgia Tech
Nov. 8 Clemson
Nov. 15 Boston College
Nov. 22 at Maryland
Nov. 29 Florida

Some thoughts:

-No Monday night game. And it's a good thing. Sure, we lose the national exposure. But there's NO WAY we're ready to play a ranked team in the first game. Good call, Bobby. Call FSU whatever you like for scheduling weaker opponents to start the season. But the bottom line is that this sets our young team up for success later on when it counts.

-FSU at worst should be 3-1 headed into the Miami game. And really, the 'Noles should be undefeated. Yeah, they're going to be without some players for the Wake Forest game on Sept. 20 but, c'mon, this game is at Doak Campbell and isn't it about time that FSU actually beat the Demon Deacons?

-The dreaded Thursday night road game is back, once again at N.C. State. The 'Noles are 0-2 in dreaded Thursday night games the past two seasons, with losses at State and at Wake Forest. But this time, the game will come after a bye week. No excuses to fall flat here.

-If you're an FSU fan, you've gotta love the way the home schedule sets up in the second half of the season. Virginia Tech, Clemson, Boston College and Florida all rolling through Doak in a span of a little more than a month. That's a dream schedule. The place should be packed and rocking every one of those weekends.

By the way, Trev Alberts is not a fan of the way our first couple of games set up. I think this is bull.

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Published in: on February 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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FSU Recruiting Wrap-Up

I think this guy is going to go with the Noles.

Here's Jermaine Thomas….a RB out of Jax who signed with us on Wednesday…offending Native Americans everywhere with his Wal-Mart headdress. Classy. Very classy.

Other than this semi-racial event, it looks like a very good year. Not a great year. But a very good year. But just keep in mind that we've had so-called "top ten" recruiting classes for years now. And it hasn't translated onto the field.

Here's hoping that the new coaches have an eye for talent. I'm excited about seeing the new guys. And with tons of suspensions still hanging around for the first three games, it looks like several of them might get some PT real quick. Here's a couple of links if you want to read more.

Overall Look at the Class – Tallahassee Democrat

Video Comments by Head Coach-For Now Bobby Bowden

Video Comments by Head Coach-In-Waiting and Offensive Coordinator Jimbo Fisher

OL Coach Rick Trickett Gets His Guys

And one more note, we've ALREADY signed a big name for the 2009 recruiting class. And he's planning to be an early enrollee in January as well. So there's another great sign.

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Published in: on February 8, 2008 at 2:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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I’m just glad it’s not FSU this time.

Apparently, you can't recruit the girlfriend of the player you're recruiting. Who knew? In the end, it probably won't end up being a big deal. But again, anything that keeps FSU bad news out of the paper is a good thing.

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Published in: on January 23, 2008 at 10:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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