Florida State football coach Jimbo Fisher released a lengthy statement Friday evening addressing the recent events surrounding his players.
A few minutes later, FSU President John Thrasher also released a statement and called for an immediate plan to be developed by Fisher and athletics director Stan Wilcox to “help our student-athletes understand the consequences of these kinds of actions.”
Earlier Friday, Fisher suspended star tailback Dalvin Cook indefinitely following accusations that he punched a 21-year-old woman in the face several times during an argument outside of a Tallahassee bar last month.
The incident occurred the day before former FSU quarterback De’Andre Johnson, 19, was involved in a physical altercation with a 21-year-old female student at a different bar near the FSU campus.
Johnson was dismissed from the team.
“Recent events at Florida State University involving members of my football team have brought a lot of attention to the school and program.
“It is important to me that our fans and the public be aware that I do not tolerate the type of behavior that was captured on video and that was most recently alleged.
“We spend a good deal of time educating our student-athletes about appropriate behavior and their responsibilities as representatives of Florida State. The majority of our players are exemplary, but clearly we must place an even stronger emphasis on this, and I personally promise we will.
“I remain committed to educating our young men and holding them accountable for their actions.
“Florida State is a great university. Our fans and supporters deserve better than to hear of actions that are not consistent with the school’s proud history and national stature.
“We will do better. I will not tolerate anything less.”
“I am extremely disappointed to learn of this allegation against Dalvin Cook. I fully support the immediate and indefinite suspension of Cook from the football team while we look into this matter further and due process runs its course.
“It is especially disheartening to learn of this case just days after Coach Fisher dismissed quarterback De’Andre Johnson from the team for his role in a physical altercation that occurred in an off-campus bar.
“As I have previously said, I have no tolerance for the type of behavior alleged in these cases. We expect all of our students, especially our student-athletes who represent this university in the public spotlight, to adhere to the highest standards.
“I have asked Coach Fisher and Athletics Director Stan Wilcox to develop a plan to help our student-athletes understand the consequences of these kinds of actions. This will include Coach Fisher meeting immediately with his team to reiterate, in no uncertain terms, our expectations of them. I also plan to meet with the team, and we will be asking professionals who deal with these matters, including State Attorney Willie Meggs, to speak with them.
“The vast majority of our student-athletes are good students and positive role models who contribute to their university and their communities. It is unfortunate that the actions of a very few individuals are causing embarrassment to their teammates and this university.
“Coach Fisher, Athletics Director Wilcox and I are committed to ensuring our student-athletes uphold this university’s values, and we will continue to work together toward that goal.”
Jim Henry writes for The Tallahassee Democrat, a Gannett company.