Florida State fight could lead to football suspensions

TALLAHASSEE — In his first extended comments about a campus fight reported to involve football players, Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said Thursday that he couldn't rule out the possibility of suspensions for Saturday's game against Boston College.

Bowden said he would have to see the police report before discussing the incident further, but he added the university administration could take action even before the FSU Police investigation is complete.

"I will have to talk to our athletic director (Randy Spetman) and president (T.K. Wetherell)," Bowden said.

University police spokesman James Russell said witnesses allege the Wednesday brawl involved players and members of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity. But he said his investigation was not complete as of Thursday evening.

Bowden declined to say if he has received accounts from his players.

"It's like everything," he said. "You have two sides."

Not distracted: Despite the attention surrounding the fight, coaches and players said Thursday's was a good practice.

"It was probably our best Thursday practice all year," QB Christian Ponder said. "With all the distractions going on, we came out and had our minds focused. We did well."

Florida: Pair of QBs to play for Gamecocks

GAINESVILLE — Florida's defense must prepare for not one, but two quarterbacks when South Carolina comes to town Saturday.

The Gamecocks used Chris Smelley and Tampa native Stephen Garcia in last weekend's 34-21 win over Arkansas, a tactic coach Steve Spurrier also used at Florida.

Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong said his players must make sure they know who is under center and act accordingly. Smelley is more of a pocket passer while Garcia, a Jefferson High graduate, tends to use his legs to make big plays.

Spurrier also is known to use trick plays, something Strong has tried to prepare his players for all week, although he said it's difficult to prepare for plays that haven't been seen on film.

"I just hope we don't give up a big play," he said.

Injury report: Omar Hunter has a hyperextended right elbow and won't play Saturday. The freshman, ranked No. 2 in the nation among defensive tackles coming out of high school by Scout.com, has played in three games and likely will redshirt.

Honors: QB Tim Tebow is one of 15 nominees for the Walter Camp Award, which goes to the national player of the year. Five finalists will be announced Dec. 2 and the winner Dec. 11.

USF: Injuries hobble defensive backfield

TAMPA — Defensive coordinator Wally Burnham said USF will have to make due Saturday against Rutgers with a banged-up secondary.

"We can't make any personnel changes because we just have too many injuries," he said. "We have some guys banged up."

Junior Jerome Murphy was still walking with a limp and had a small brace on his left knee. The coaching staff, however, does not comment on injuries.

Another sport: Coach Jim Leavitt said freshman QB B.J. Daniels will be allowed to join the basketball team on Dec. 7, the day after the regular-season finale. As a senior at Tallahassee Lincoln, Daniels averaged 27 points and was named first-team all-state.

Times correspondents Phil Kegler and Joe Rienzi contributed to this report.

>>Up next

Florida: vs. South Carolina, 3:30 Saturday, Ch. 10

FSU: vs. Boston College, 8 Saturday, Ch. 28

USF: vs. Rutgers, noon Saturday, Ch. 28

Miami: at Georgia Tech, 7:30 Thursday, ESPN

Florida State fight could lead to football suspensions 11/13/08 [Last modified: Friday, November 14, 2008 4:54pm]

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