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FSU's Dalvin Cook acquitted of battery charge

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State running back Dalvin Cook was found not guilty Monday of punching a woman who testified that he had also said he would be able to buy her in a couple of years once he went pro.

The seven-member jury delivered its verdict after a one-day trial Monday that included the testimony of his accuser, one of her friends and several teammates. Cook had been charged with misdemeanor battery.

Cook's grandmother, Betty Cook, led a small cheering section with a scream and a "hallelujah Lord."

"I'm just blessed the truth came out," Dalvin Cook said. "I'm trying to go work back on the field. I've been working, but it's time to get at it now."

FSU indefinitely suspended Cook pending the results of the criminal proceedings and trial. The university had not offered an update on Cook's status by Monday night.

Cook, FSU's leading rusher as a true freshman last season, requested an earlier trial date so as to potentially play in the Sept. 5 season opener. His arraignment date had been scheduled for Sept. 2 before a Leon County judge moved the jury selection to Aug. 21 and the trial to Monday.

Madison Geohegan, 21, testified Monday that she argued with a group of players after one of them profanely insulted her and she responded by insulting his mother. At first Cook tried to calm the group by telling everyone to "chill out," she said. She described him as nice at first.

But she testified that he became angry when she pushed FSU wide receiver Travis Rudolph and when she told the group she wasn't impressed that they were players. She told them she was dating Auburn defensive back T.J. Davis.

Geohegan told the jury that Cook shouted, "We can buy you in two years! Google me!"

"I said, 'Everyone's on Google,' " Geohegan testified. She said that is when Cook punched her.

USF picks its QB

TAMPA — USF will put its spread-style, uptempo offense in sophomore Quinton Flowers' hands to begin the 2015 season.

The school announced Monday evening that Flowers, a 21-year-old Miami native with eight career completions, edged senior Steven Bench for the starting job in a duel that spanned the Bulls' entire 17-day preseason camp.

Coach Willie Taggart is expected to comment on the decision after this morning's practice. He reiterated throughout the preseason the player who made the fewest mistakes would win the job and the decision would be made by the staff.

Deemed a four-star recruit by out of Miami Jackson, Flowers appeared in five games last season with only one start — on a raw, rainy night at SMU — but is widely considered a better fit for the new zone-read system installed by Taggart's staff in the offseason. He enters the Sept. 5 season opener against Florida A&M 8-of-20 for 111 yards, 73 rushing yards and two interceptions for his career.

ARIZONA ST.: Assistant coach Bo Graham resigned from his father's staff for personal reasons less than two weeks before the season opener.

KANSAS: Junior Montell Cozart was named starting quarterback. Cozart started three games as a freshman in 2013 and five games last season before Michael Cummings took over.

KENTUCKY: Coach Mark Stoops said the NCAA denied hardship waiver requests by linebacker Courtney Love and tight end Greg Hart to play this season after transferring from Nebraska.

OKLAHOMA: Baker Mayfield was named the starting quarterback over last year's starter, Trevor Knight. Mayfield sat out last season after transferring from Texas Tech.

TEXAS A&M: Kyle Allen was picked to start at quarterback in the season opener. The sophomore was competing against heralded freshman Kyler Murray for the starting job.

BASKETBALL: Indiana sophomore forward Emmitt Holt and freshman center Thomas Bryant were cited for underage alcohol possession. Team spokesman J.D. Campbell said in a statement that the matter was being taken "very seriously."… Buffalo forward and last season's Mid-American Conference player of the year Justin Moss was dropped by the team. The school declined to comment further.

Times staff writer Joey Knight contributed to this report.