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war paint

When it was announced at the beginning of the football season that twenty-three Florida State athletes in nine sports were involved in an academic scandal, I thought not again. Despite the fact that only two football players were involved, I knew this was trouble. Answers to online tests for one class were being given out by a tutor. However, despite this initial announcement, nothing more came of it, other than the four-game suspension of wide receiver Joslin Shaw. This was true until three days ago. Then it was announced that twenty-three Noles were suspended for the bowl game against Kentucky, as more academic impropriety had been discovered. Papers were written for players in addition to the online test answers given out by the tutors. And while some of the players are walk-ons, eleven have starting experience. However, due to the Federal laws involved with NCAA violations, names haven’t been revealed.

This seems to be just a disappointing end to a disappointing season, but for me it’s more than that. I’ve posted on other blogs under the pseudonym Criminole, which has been a nickname of the Noles since the Footlocker scandal in 1994. I’ve supported this team through Warrick’s Dillards escapades, Jano’s hard partying, AD’s gambling, Sexton’s thinking he was God and countless other incidents. However, it gets old. I got rid of the Criminole blog two years ago and keep hoping that the team will follow suit and change their ways, but I’m not sure.

The criminal escapades weren’t a problem when the team was winning, despite being critiqued by every news source on the planet, but not that the last title is eight years gone, it’s time to change. I hope that the four-game suspensions that are looming is enough to bring changes to a program that needs a new direction. A new staff didn’t do as much as we’d hoped, but maybe pulling together in the face of mass suspensions will allow this team to bond and demonstrate the talent that we saw in Chestnut Hill.