Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Archive

Coach hopes camping stunt lights a fire in fans

For Florida State women's basketball coach Sue Semrau, the details are a bit hazy.

She doesn't remember when it was or where the family had gone camping or why the tent she was sleeping in collapsed during the night and left her feeling as though she were being suffocated.

"I do know we didn't go camping much after that," she said.

But Semrau is going back to nature, that experience be darned, as part of a marketing ploy to boost attendance for her team's regular-season finale on Sunday against No. 17 Boston College.

Following FSU's game tonight against Wake Forest, Semrau will live in a tent outside the Donald L. Tucker Center until 3,000 tickets are sold or until Sunday's game, whichever comes first. If the goal is reached, it not only will mean the largest home crowd of the season (a game against Florida drew 1,711), but ever.

"It's such a great atmosphere at Florida State football games; it's such a special place and we want to create that (kind of) environment for our players and our seniors in particular," Semrau said.

FSU will honor seniors Holly Johnson, Ganiyat Adeduntan, LaQuinta Neely and Hannah Linquist, a group who has a shot at leading the Seminoles to consecutive NCAA Tournament berths, a feat that hasn't been done since 1990 and 1991.

Semrau also would like a large crowd for the competitive advantage it might afford.

"We need people to come out and help us with that," she said. "I'll stay outside until people get inside."

Fans will be able to buy tickets at the tent and visit her there, making them eligible for prizes. And Semrau isn't totally roughing it. She'll have electricity (to watch game tape) and will be excused to attend practices. Her assistants will come to her, their lawn chairs in tow, for their Friday morning meeting.

"I'm hoping we get a fire put in to keep me warm," she said, joking. (Rain, including thundershowers, is in the forecast Thursday, Friday and Saturday.) "But it is a beautiful site. There's grass and a tree."

And, hopefully, a tent that's securely put up.

FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP: The ACC will wait until the conclusion of the 2006 football title game to decide whether to exercise its two-year option and stay in Jacksonville or move it to another site, perhaps Tampa.

"We thought the inaugural game got off to an excellent start," ACC commissioner John Swofford said, adding that there was "amazingly little" that could have been done to make it better.

But the ACC has stayed in contact with "a number of the cities" that bid for the event.

NUMBERS GAME: If the baseball team (7-1) takes two of three against perennial Big Ten power Minnesota this weekend, coach Mike Martin will hit an illustrious milestone - win No. 1,400. Only seven coaches in NCAA history are in the 1,400 club.

SPEAKING OF IMPRESSIVE NUMBERS . . . : Softball coach JoAnne Graf, whose team beat Jacksonville 8-1 in the opener of a doubleheader Wednesday (FSU lost the second game 2-1), picked up win No. 1,100. Fresno State's Margie Wright is the NCAA leader (1,173).

INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE: Junior India Trotter, who led the soccer team to the national semifinals last season, has earned a spot on the U.S. women's national team for the prestigious Algrave Cup next month. Trotter earned her first national team experience - and the first for any Seminole - in January, appearing in one game during the Four Nations Tournament. The Algrave Cup is March 9-15 in Portugal.

HONORING THE PAST: During forward George McCloud's days (1986-89), the Seminoles played in the Metro Conference, but he still will be FSU's representative at this year's ACC Basketball Legends brunch at the league tournament on March 11. On the women's side, guard Tia Paschal (1990-93) will be the Seminoles' past star at the ACC women's tournament on March 4. She at least played a couple seasons in the ACC.

Brian Landman covers Florida State athletics. He can be reached at (813) 226-3347 or at