Florida State receiver Preston Parker will be suspended for the first two games of the season and face several other sanctions imposed by the athletic department after pleading guilty Monday to a pair of misdemeanors.
As a part of a plea deal reached with prosecutors in Palm Beach County, Parker's felony charge for carrying a concealed handgun was reduced to carrying a concealed weapon. An adjudication of guilt was withheld on the misdemeanor charge of possessing less than 20 grams of marijuana stemming from his arrest April 21.
"I pray and hope that you won't look at me as a bad person," Parker wrote in an open letter of apology his attorney released. "I am not a thug. I am not a gangster. And most definitely, I am not a thief. … I am truly sorry and I apologize to everyone."
"Preston made a very serious mistake and there are consequences when one of our boys gets in trouble," coach Bobby Bowden said in a statement. "Preston will have the opportunity to continue as a student and as an athlete at Florida State, but he will have to earn that right."
In addition to missing games against Division I-AA opponents Western Carolina and Chattanooga, Parker, a junior and the team's top playmaker, is on athletic probation and must meet other conditions to remain on the team, including community service and biweekly drug tests.
FSU junior catcher Buster Posey was named ACC player of the year by league coaches. Posey leads the league in seven categories, including batting average (.471), runs (75) and RBIs (68). Miami's Jim Morris was named coach of the year. … Saint Leo said it was not renewing the contract of coach Ricky Ware after six seasons.
Florida was ousted in the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament, losing 4-2 to UCLA in Tulsa, Okla. Megan Alexander and Anastasia Revzina earned straight-set victories for the Gators (24-3), who lost the doubles point for the first time this season.
See blogs.tampabay.com/seminoles for more on Preston Parker. Brian Landman can be reached at (813) 226-3347 or email@example.com. Times wires contributed to this report.