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Florida State bans players from bars, should other schools follow suit?

Photo Credit: sayot |Flickr

It appears as if a curse has been placed on the Florida State Seminoles’ football team, particularly at the quarterback position. Either that or a coincidental phenomenon has descended upon Tallahassee, causing the young men who are being put in charge of orchestrating the Seminoles’ offense to make careless, ill-advised and juvenile off-the-field decisions. Take your pick.

Either way, once again, a Florida State football player has become national news for the wrong reasons.

Last month, De’Andre Johnson, a freshman quarterback, was accused of physically assaulting a young woman in a bar. The accusation was verified when security footage of the assault was uncovered. In the video, Johnson is seen throwing — and landing — a punch during a scuffle with the woman. The video led to Johnson’s arrest; he had been charged with misdemeanor battery.

Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher wasted no time in suspending Johnson indefinitely; he did so just a day after the accusation. Fisher also wasted no time in dismissing Johnson from the team; he did so the same day the video of the incident was released.

Fisher’s quick reaction was almost like a reflex, suggesting that he has become accustomed to handling controversial incidents involving his players.

It’s good that he has.

Dalvin Cook

Just a day before Johnson’s bar altercation, Dalvin Cook, a running back for the Seminoles, was involved in a similar incident.

Cook was accused of punching a woman during a heated argument outside of a bar. Although Cook was not the only Florida State player involved in the argument, he was the only one who caused someone physical harm.

As a result, he has been indefinitely suspended from the team.

Unlike Johnson’s case, however, there is no known video evidence of Cook’s assault. Otherwise, Fisher would have likely dismissed Cook from the team as well.

Cook’s court date has been scheduled for later this month. It still remains to be seen what his status with the team will look like come the start of the season.

Bars are bad news

In light of these recent events, Coach has made it clear: FSU players are not allowed to go to bars. Fisher met with his team this past Saturday to lay down the ground rule.

Should more teams be implementing a similar policy? After all, this is not the first offseason in recent memory to involve high-profile college-football players getting into trouble at bars.

In 2011, for example, players from LSU’s football team, most notably senior quarterback Jordan Jefferson, were involved in a fight that took place at a bar. Jefferson, in particular, was suspended for the first four games of the following season. He was a starter, too.

The NCAA is unlikely to get involved in the issue unless profits are threatened. Bars have been trouble in college football, but not so much that they have prevented the NCAA from obtaining sizable revenue each and every season.

Perhaps the decision is best left up to each individual coaching staff. FSU’s coaching staff, however, has opted to play it safe.

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David A. Shelmon was born and raised in the Metro Detroit area. Currently, he is an aspiring journalist who focuses primarily on sports. Basketball, in particular, is his specialty. He has written for the likes of AXS.com, Examiner.com and SB Nation-affiliate Hustle Belt. He hopes to expand his writing experience by joining Sports Out West.
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