Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FSU's Fisher Speaks out; School 'Has No Tolerance for Hitting Women'

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FSU's Fisher Speaks out; School 'Has No Tolerance for Hitting Women'

Article excerpt

Byline: Garry Smits

Florida State football coach Jimbo Fisher emphatically stated on Tuesday that his program "has no tolerance for hitting women."

Fisher then added a kicker to that sentence that perhaps illustrates his frustration with the events of a long, hot summer in Tallahassee.

"You think you would never, ever have to say that," he told the media at the 2015 ACC Kickoff at the Pinehurst resort in North Carolina.

Fisher spoke publicly for the first time since two of his players, De'Andre Johnson of Jacksonville and Dalvin Cook of Miami, were arrested on charges of hitting women at bars near the FSU campus in June. They are the last two winners of Florida's "Mr. Football," the award presented each year to the top high school player in the state.

Johnson, a quarterback, was dismissed from school when the state attorney's office released video of the incident in which Johnson is seen punching the woman after the two had a dispute over what police said was Johnson pushing the women from behind at a crowded bar.

Cook, who led the Seminoles in rushing last season as a freshman, is on suspension from the team. Police say there is no video in Cook's case, in which he is accused of punching a woman several times outside a bar.

The accusations both made nationwide headlines which, on the heels of the controversial Jameis Winston Era at FSU in 2013 and 2014, has given the program a troubling image.

"You, as the head coach, take responsibility and you continue to educate," Fisher said in taking the blame.

He also said the Seminoles' current national perception is not the blame of the media.

"You're judged by what you do," he said.

Fisher spoke about several measures he is taking with the team in regards to education and prevention of more incidents.

- He confirmed his players, regardless of age, are banned from certain bars and nightclubs.

- He is enlisting the help of Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who has launched a national campaign, "Pass the Peace," to assist victims of domestic violence. …

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