Banning college football players from bars may not be on the top of every college football head coach’s list, but for Florida State University, it is a top priority. The Seminoles football program has made their way into the spotlight, but not for plays made on the field but rather off the field. Within twenty-four hours, two FSU football players were involved in two separate fights, both at bars.
Last month, Florida State running back Dalvin Cook was outside of a downtown Tallahassee bar when he allegedly punched a twenty-one year old woman several times. The report states, the woman not a FSU student, refused to give her phone number to one of the football players outside the bar. According to the report, the woman plans to press charges.
After being charged with misdemeanor battery, Cook turned himself in to the Leon County Jail. The Seminoles player was suspended indefinitely from the football team.
This is not the first trouble Cook has found himself in though. In 2014, he was charged with criminal mischief in an aggravated assault case. He completed a diversion program and was the starting running back rushing for more than one-thousand yards his freshman year.
The very next day, freshman quarterback De’ Andre Johnson was seen on surveillance video punching a twenty-one year old female student in the face inside a bar. Johnson was charged with misdemeanor battery. Within hours of the video footage being released, FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher dismissed the freshman from the team. He had yet to play a game for the Seminoles.
Trouble at FSU is nothing new though. Former star quarterback Jameis Winston, drafted number one in this year’s NFL draft to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was also known for his off the field antics. Winston is still involved in a case in which he faced an allegation of sexual assault. He also faced a gun complaint, but charges were never filed. However, he was issued a citation for shoplifting crab legs from a grocery store in which Winston believes it was all a misunderstanding.
College players are not the only ones finding themselves in trouble, as a number of professional athletes have faced dismissals, suspensions and legal problems too. Most recently, Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy has his ten game suspension reduced to four for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. Hardy was convicted on charges of assault and threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend. The conviction was later dropped, but Hardy played in only one game during the 2014 season.
The list of college and pro athletes who jeopardize their career by making bad decisions continues to grow almost daily, but athletes are not given special treatment, at least they are not suppose to be. As Fisher said in a statement, “I remain committed to educating our young men and holding them accountable for their actions. We will do better. I will not tolerate anything less.”