Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

'Noles Stuck on Hot Coals till Trial's End

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

'Noles Stuck on Hot Coals till Trial's End

Article excerpt

Byline: Gene Frenette, Times-Union sports writer

Until the Adrian McPherson trial is over and everything comes to light about who did what, Florida State's football program is going through the equivalent of walking on hot coals.

The debate over FSU's culpability on this matter basically comes down to this: pro-Seminoles feel coach Bobby Bowden and the program is being unfairly vilified for poor choices made by one quarterback, and anti-'Noles believe that the coach's St. Bobby image is a ruse that should have been exposed a long time ago. As in most cases, the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.

Bowden has been on a shoot-the-messenger tour for a couple of months, saying the media has sensationalized the story. What Bowden overlooks is a high-profile program can't have it both ways. If it's going to accept the accolades that come with 14 consecutive Top-5 finishes, it has to endure the criticism and questions about its reputation that surface when a quarterback is allowed to play under highly suspect circumstances.

No matter how you feel about FSU, there's no gray area on two points: Bowden should have never allowed McPherson to quarterback in the North Carolina State game. And school administrators clearly made errors of judgment, however unintended some might have been, in their investigation of the McPherson allegations.

If Bowden wants to restrict locker room access to the media over the McPherson coverage, that's certainly his right as a coach. Just remember this: media coverage is partially responsible for FSU football getting into national prominence and will probably spur the school to do a better job of policing itself in the future. . . .

Speaking of media coverage, when does the statute of limitations expire on giving relevance to anything that Mike Tyson says? …

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