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'Nole no more

FSU boots McPherson amid blank-check investigation

Posted: Monday November 25, 2002 1:31 PM
Updated: Tuesday November 26, 2002 3:12 AM

 
McPherson's lawyer
points finger at FSU
Grady Irvin, the attorney for Adrian McPherson, was critical of Bobby Bowden and the University's handling of the sophomore quarterback's dismissal.

Irvin said McPherson informed the Florida State coaching staff of "conduct that was concerning to him" prior to the Seminoles' 17-7 loss to North Carolina State on Saturday.

"Adrian McPherson was proactive in this," Irvin told CNNSI.com on Monday. "He was not aware of any police investigation. He was not aware that anything criminal had taken place. He just had something on his mind and went to a coach on staff and said, 'I've got to tell you something.'"

"Adrianís conscience was getting the best of him. He told them what happened. [The FSU coaches] were fully aware of it prior to the North Carolina State game. They still allowed him to play.

"I can tell you, I am very very disappointed in what the university has done. ... The school is not clean in all of this."

Irvin said Bowden, the Seminoles' head coach, told McPherson prior to Saturday's game that the coaches would meet with McPherson and his parents Monday in Tallahassee to discuss the situation. The lawyer charged that during the Monday morning meeting, Bowden told McPherson and his parents that he would be suspended pending an investigation -- but that a short time later, they heard on television that he had been kicked off the team.

"My understanding this is not a university policy or athletic department, but a football team policy," Irvin said. "Coach Bowden was non-specific in what policy or aspect had been violated.

"Apparently, [McPherson] didnít have a Heisman Trophy. Or he wasnít a Heisman Trophy candidate and they werenít playing for national championship. And he wasnít caught in Dillard's on video tape like someone else. Maybe he wouldnít be suspended or kicked off the team forever if he had been."

-- CNNSI.com's Mike Fish 
 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida State quarterback Adrian McPherson was dismissed from the team Monday amid reports that police planned to question him in the theft and forgery of a blank check.

Coach Bobby Bowden would not give details of the violation, but said McPherson would remain in school and on scholarship through the end of the semester.

"That's about all I can say," Bowden said. "This is kind of new to me, too."

Bowden called his decision to dismiss McPherson "clear cut."

At the end of Monday's news conference, sports information director Rob Wilson said the investigation did not involve gambling or point shaving.

No one has been charged in the check forgery, and police would have no further comment until criminal charges are filed, the Tallahassee Police Department said in a statement.

Grady Irvin Jr., an attorney representing McPherson, said he hopes Florida State officials might reconsider the dismissal that he categorized as harsh and severe.

"This man's entire future is at jeopardy," Irvin said. "It appears there has been an ultimate quick, rush to a decision ... without a thorough investigation."

The 19-year-old McPherson will not play basketball, either. Last season, he played in three games before deciding to concentrate on football. He is the only Florida prep athlete to be named "Mr. Basketball" and "Mr. Football."

McPherson replaced Chris Rix following a 34-24 loss Oct. 26 to Notre Dame, going 3-1 in four starts. The two were scheduled to compete for Saturday's start after McPherson struggled in a 17-7 loss Saturday at North Carolina State.

After meeting with McPherson, Bowden informed Rix that he would be the starting quarterback in Saturday's game against No. 15 Florida (8-3, 6-2 Southeastern Conference). Fabian Walker will be the backup.

Rix has completed 53.6 percent of his passes for 1,490 yards and 11 touchdowns. He has been intercepted seven times.

"I'm more eager and anxious than I've ever been to get back on the field," Rix said, adding he was saddened by McPherson's dismissal.

"It's a shock," Rix said. "It's out of our hands. I feel for Adrian and his family. Hopefully, we can help him out anyway possible."

McPherson was 80-of-155 for 1,017 yards with 12 touchdowns and one interception in nine games this season. He was replaced by Rix for the final drive in a 17-7 loss Saturday to North Carolina State.

McPherson led Florida State to victories over Wake Forest, Georgia Tech and North Carolina. Though his numbers through those three games were not spectacular -- 51 of 98 for 654 yards -- McPherson threw one interception while throwing eight touchdowns.

Against N.C. State, the No. 23 Seminoles (8-4, 7-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) did not score an offensive touchdown and McPherson struggled, completing 8 of 20 passes for 80 yards. He missed several open receivers and was sacked several times, taking Florida State out of field goal range.

Despite the loss, Florida State won the ACC title outright after Virginia beat Maryland 48-13. The Seminoles will go to a major bowl for the 11th time in the last 12 years.

 
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