FSU starter Josh Ball faces Title IX suspension over dating violence accusation

Josh Ball started the final nine games of the season for Florida State. (Courtesy of Florida State)
Josh Ball started the final nine games of the season for Florida State. (Courtesy of Florida State)
Published May 22 2018
Updated May 22 2018

Florida State starting offensive tackle Josh Ball faces a university suspension after a Title IX investigation found him responsible for dating violence.

The suspension came to light in a Facebook post Monday afternoon by Sandra Sellers, an FSU student from Lithia who previously accused Ball of physically attacking her when they were dating.  

"After two long days of testifying and two agonizing weeks of waiting for this letter, it's finally here," Sellers wrote in a since-deleted Facebook post.

Sellers posted one page of that letter. It says that a "hearing panel finds Joshua 'responsible'" – the technical term used in Title IX cases to mean guilty of wrongdoing.

The letter doesn't reveal any details of that wrongdoing, and FSU declined to confirm or deny any student conduct cases because of student privacy laws. But Sellers previously said the 6-foot-8, 335-pound Ball physically attacked her at least three times.

Those accusations became public last fall after Sellers filed for an injunction for protection against dating violence. Ball, a former four-star recruit from Virginia, remained with the team last season and started the final nine games at left tackle as a redshirt freshman.

As part of a resolution reached in November, Ball could not contact Sellers or come within 500 feet of her home, and neither side could comment to the media. Attorneys for both sides respectfully declined to comment Tuesday.

Ball did not face criminal charges, but Title IX requires a lower threshold to determine guilt than the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard used in courtrooms.

The letter Sellers posted did not specify the length of the suspension but said he would be on disciplinary probation from the spring semester of 2019 through the spring semester of 2020.

"Thank you FSU for making campus a better place," Sellers wrote in her Facebook post. "Stand up for yourself and stand strong…

"So cheers to finally being able to close this chapter of my life for good and to being able to enjoy football season, and not seeing him on the field!"

An FSU spokesman said Ball is currently enrolled as a student. Ball's bio remains on the Seminoles website.

Students found responsible of wrongdoing have five days to appeal a Title IX decision to a hearing officer, such as the dean of students.

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