Florida State garners more negative attention from the media for its off-field issues than any team in the country, and coach Jimbo Fisher has two culprits in mind: ESPN and the SEC.
In a clip that aired on local Birmingham, Ala., station WABM, which Clay Travis of FOX Sports shared with a wider audience, Fisher made his thoughts very clear on why his team always seems to be in the news for the wrong reasons and has so many doubters.
“One, ESPN has money in the SEC, and two, we were so dominant last year,” Fisher said.
Fisher had an unpleasant encounter with Birmingham media last week, when he got upset with reporters when questioned about his reputation and cut a media sessions short.
The No. 2 Seminoles, who beat Auburn for last year’s national championship and are undefeated this season, have had more than their share of off-field drama. Quarterback Jameis Winston, who won the Heisman Award last season, has been embroiled in an ugly investigation for sexual assault for nearly two years. Probes into the investigation indicate that Florida State has intentionally gummed up the police investigation.
Additionally, Winston got himself in trouble for stealing crab legs from a local grocery store, and in recent weeks came under investigation for selling his autograph, in a situation similar to Georgia running back Todd Gurley. Winston has not missed any time with the football team for these incidents, although he was suspended for Florida State’s game against Clemson after shouting an obscene phrase on campus and was suspended indefinitely by the baseball team, which he played for last spring, for the supermarket incident
Just this week, another Florida State player got into trouble. Leading rusher Karlos Williams is being investigated by the Tallahassee Police Department for an alleged domestic violence incident. Last week, Fisher told the media that Williams was not being investigated and the claims were false. Williams’ pregnant girlfriend posted photos of the alleged incident on social media. Williams has not been suspended, but is under review by the school. He reportedly may not be charged from the report.
Fisher claims his program is built on integrity and honesty, despite a host of incidents that point to the contrary. Of course, if you ask the coach, the negative attention his team receives has nothing to do with its knack for popping up in the news for all the wrong reasons.
It’s the dang SEC’s fault.