College Football Preview: Boston College aT Florida State
Published 12:00 am Friday, November 14, 2008
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. ó Talk about Black Saturday.
Florida State players were excited about donning all black uniforms and asked fans to dress likewise for an 8 p.m. homecoming showdown with Boston College.
But as it turns out the attire may be fitting for the mood of many fans after the school’s latest embarrassment involving athletes.
Coach Bobby Bowden didn’t wait for a police report this time, suspending five wide receivers Friday for their roles in a midweek campus brawl that resulted in one innocent bystander being treated at a hospital.
The melee couldn’t have come at a tougher time for a team scrambling to get back into the thick of the ACC race and needing to win out to have a chance of playing in the league’s championship game next month.
Perhaps more importantly, the school is awaiting word from the NCAA on sanctions from a 2007 academic cheating scandal that cast a pall over the end of the 2007 season and the start of this year’s schedule with key players sitting out games.
“If I’m sitting up there in Indianapolis (NCAA headquarters) looking at this, I’d say ‘those guys down there aren’t taking this thing very serious,”‘ said Jim Smith, a former Florida attorney general who chairs the school’s Board of Trustees.
Florida State President T.K. Wetherell, attending a trustees meeting Friday, said the brawl ruins efforts of those working to clean up the school’s tarnished image.
The 79-year-old Bowden, a longtime believer in giving miscreants a second chance, seemed frustrated by his program’s latest black eye. The Seminoles (7-2, 4-2 ACC) ended Boston College’s perfect season a year ago. BC was unbeaten and ranked second in the country until Florida State knocked off the Eagles 27-17 on their home turf last November.
“That’ll motivate them,” said Bowden, whose lineup now depends on a police blotter.