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Florida State suspends five receivers for Boston College game

TALLAHASSEE — Although a midweek melee involving members of the Florida State football team and a fraternity remained under investigation Friday, coach Bobby Bowden has suspended receivers Taiwan Easterling, Bert Reed, Corey Surrency, Cameron Wade and Richard Goodman for tonight's game against Boston College as a result of it.

"The police report has not been concluded, but from the information that I have gathered, I am suspending five players who were apparently involved in the fray," Bowden said in a statement.

Further action can be expected by early next week when police finish piecing together what happened at the student union at lunchtime Wednesday and make arrests.

At least one person, either from the football team or from Phi Beta Sigma fraternity, likely will face a felony charge — perhaps aggravated battery — for hurling a chair and hitting a female bystander in the face. The unnamed woman was treated and released from a local hospital. (Three others, two males and another female, received treatment at the on-campus student health center.)

"We're investigating the totality of the case, but right now she's the priority," FSU police spokesman Maj. Jim Russell said.

The absence of the five players is a blow to an improving FSU offense.

Easterling, a redshirt freshman, leads the team in catches (26) for 286 yards and a touchdown. Reed, a multipurpose threat as a runner on reverses as well as kickoff and punt returns, is fourth in catches (15) for 226 yards and three touchdowns (second). Surrency, a senior, has 10 catches for 210 yards and a team-high four touchdown receptions. Wade, a redshirt freshman, has just one catch in limited action. Goodman, a fourth-year senior, has been recovering from a broken right leg.

"We are going to play with the guys available like we do each and every week and be prepared to face a very good Boston College team," offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher said in a statement.

It's the ninth game out of 10 this season that the Seminoles will have suspended players. Eighteen different athletes have now been suspended for at least one game for a violation of team or university policy.

"There's a problem," school trustees chairman Jim Smith said. "We're kind of fed up with it.

"If I'm sitting up there in Indianapolis (at NCAA headquarters) looking at this, I'd say, 'Those guys down there aren't taking this thing very serious.' "

It's the third suspension in a month for Reed and the second for Surrency, a 24-year-old junior college transfer. Reed's first suspension was for skipping classes. The other suspensions for Reed and Surrency were for unspecified violations of team rules.

"The suspensions don't seem to be working very well," Smith said. "You've got to be a good citizen. You can't go around beating people up."

Russell said the "challenging" part is sifting through often "conflicting statements" from 25 individuals, including football players and fraternity members believed to be involved as well as five others not associated with either.

Brian Landman can be reached at landman@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3347. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

TALLAHASSEE — Although a midweek melee involving members of the Florida State football team and a fraternity remained under investigation Friday, coach Bobby Bowden has suspended receivers Taiwan Easterling, Bert Reed, Corey Surrency, Cameron Wade and Richard Goodman for tonight's game against Boston College as a result of it.

"The police report has not been concluded, but from the information that I have gathered, I am suspending five players who were apparently involved in the fray," Bowden said in a statement.

Further action can be expected next week when police finish piecing together what happened at the FSU student union at lunchtime Wednesday and make arrests.

At least one person, either from the football team or from Phi Beta Sigma fraternity, likely will face a felony charge — perhaps aggravated battery — for hurling a chair and hitting a female bystander in the face. The unnamed woman was treated and released from a local hospital. (Three others, two males and another female, received treatment at the on-campus student health center.)

"We're investigating the totality of the case, but right now she's the priority," FSU police spokesman Maj. Jim Russell said.

The absence of the five players is a blow to an improving FSU offense.

Easterling, a redshirt freshman, leads the team in catches (26) for 286 yards and a touchdown. Reed, a redshirt freshman and a multipurpose threat as a runner on reverses as well as kickoff and punt returns, is fourth in catches (15) for 226 yards and three TDs (second). Surrency, a 24-year-old junior college transfer, has 10 catches for 210 yards and a team-high four touchdown receptions. Wade, a redshirt freshman, has just one catch in limited action. Goodman, a fourth-year senior, has been recovering from a broken right leg.

"We are going to play with the guys available like we do each and every week and be prepared to face a very good Boston College team," offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher said in a statement.

It's the ninth game out of 10 this season that the Seminoles will have suspended players. Nineteen different players have now been suspended for at least one game for a violation of team or university policy. Most were suspended for their involvement in the academic misconduct scandal that is now before the NCAA.

"If I'm sitting up there in Indianapolis (at NCAA headquarters) looking at this, I'd say, 'Those guys down there aren't taking this thing very serious,' " school trustees chairman Jim Smith said.

"There's a problem. We're kind of fed up with it.

It's the third suspension in a month for Reed and the second for Surrency. Reed's first suspension was for skipping classes. The other suspensions for Reed and Surrency were for unspecified violations of team rules.

"The suspensions don't seem to be working very well," Smith said.

"You've got to be a good citizen. You can't go around beating people up."

Russell said the "challenging" part is sifting through "conflicting statements" from 25 individuals, including football players and fraternity members believed to be involved, as well as five others not associated with either.

Brian Landman can be reached at landman@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3347. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Florida State suspends five receivers for Boston College game 11/14/08 [Last modified: Saturday, November 15, 2008 11:56pm]

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