|Seminoles homecoming dimmed by midweek brawl|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 14 November 2008 13:47|
Florida State players were excited about donning all black uniforms and asked fans to dress likewise for an 8 p.m. homecoming showdown with Boston College.
But as it turns out the attire may be fitting for the mood of many fans after the school's latest embarrassment involving athletes.
Coach Bobby Bowden didn't wait for a police report this time, suspending five wide receivers Friday for their roles in a midweek campus brawl that resulted in one innocent bystander being treated at a hospital.
The melee couldn't have come at a tougher time for a team scrambling to get back into the thick of the Atlantic Coast Conference race and needing to win out to have a chance of playing in the league's championship game next month.
ver the end of the 2007 season and the start of this year's schedule with key players sitting out games.
``If I'm sitting up there in Indianapolis (NCAA headquarters) looking at this, I'd say 'those guys down there aren't taking this thing very serious,''' said Jim Smith, a former Florida attorney general who chairs the school's Board of Trustees.
Florida State President T.K. Wetherell, attending a trustees meeting Friday, said the brawl ruins efforts of those working to clean up the school's tarnished image.
The 79-year-old Bowden, a longtime believer in giving miscreants a second chance, seemed frustrated by his program's latest black eye. Plus, playing short-handed against a team looking for revenge could stall Florida State's resurgence.
The Seminoles (7-2, 4-2 ACC) ended Boston College's perfect season a year ago. BC was unbeaten and ranked second in the country until Florida State knocked off the Eagles 27-17 on their home turf last November.
``That'll motivate them,'' said Bowden, whose lineup now depends on a police blotter.
Florida State University Police Department Maj. James Russell said charges are expected next week for some of those involved in the fight. That may include a felony charge if investigators can determine who threw a chair that injured the bystander.
us games. Nineteen players have now been sidelined for disciplinary issues during the season, most for academic reasons.
Receivers Taiwan Easterling, Richard Goodman and Cameron Wade will be held out, along with Bert Reed, who is serving a third suspension in four weeks, and Corey Surrency, suspended a second time in three weeks.
Offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher, who is Bowden's designated successor, said he doesn't expect the Seminoles to be distracted by the week's events.
``We're going to play with the guys available like we do each and every week,'' Fisher said.
Receivers Greg Carr and Preston Parker will likely be plenty busy along with running backs Antone Smith and Jermaine Thomas to pick up the slack.
Florida State needs to win out in league play and Wake Forest would have to lose to give the Seminoles a chance at winning the Atlantic Division and qualify for the ACC title game. Boston College (6-3, 2-3 ACC) could also make the Dec. 6 championship game in Tampa by winning out, including its Nov. 22 date at Wake Forest.
Since joining the ACC, the Eagles have lost twice to Florida State in Boston and won in their only previous visit to Tallahassee - 24-19 in 2006.