Florida State’s probation causes concern among football prospects

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Storm Johnson is one of Georgia's top 2010 tailbacks (Rich Addicks/AJC)

Storm Johnson is one of Georgia's top 2010 tailbacks (Rich Addicks/AJC)

The P-word is scaring some of Florida State’s top recruiting targets. “FSU is not as high as they were with me because of probation,” said Newnan safety Alec Ogletree, who is considered Georgia’s No. 1 prospect with 33 early offers. “Florida State was my childhood favorite. I’m still open to them. I’m just not sure about getting involved with any program on probation. We’ll just see how it all plays out.”

Gainesville’s Blake Sims has been offered by FSU as a dual-threat quarterback. “That hurt me a lot when they got on probation because I was so high on them. My feelings have jumped back a little bit. I want to go to a school where I can trust everybody on the coaching staff. If I go to a school that has been put on probation, I don’t feel like I’d be able to trust them.”

According to the AP, Florida State’s athletic program received four years probation from the NCAA and will lose scholarships in football and may have to forfeit games because of a widespread academic cheating scandal involving 10 sports.

“Florida State dropped down a lot with me because they got in all that trouble,” said Loganville tailback Storm Johnson, who has 10 offers. “They have a great program, but I don’t think I want to be any part of that.”

Alec Ogletree says FSU was childhood favorite

Alec Ogletree says FSU was childhood favorite

Lowndes offensive tackle Ed Christian is one of two juniors that have committed to Florida State. He said he intends to remain loyal to the Seminoles, at least for now. “I guess if you do bad things, then you deserve the punishment. I’m not worried about probation, though. It doesn’t affect me. Other schools have been talking to me, but FSU is the school where I want to be at, no matter what.”

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120 comments Add your comment

ACC fan

March 11th, 2009
9:35 am

There are some good points on here, but the bottom line is the kids that are getting recruited to go to FSU should look at more than just the fact that the school is on probation now. It is all about the image the program promotes themselves with and the academics as well.


March 11th, 2009
9:22 am

The facts…

The attacks on Bobby are pointless. The university has had the academic administration not the athletic dept. in charge of all students’ grades and courses for several years. When Bobby and the coaching staff caught wind of the scandal he suspended all players involved to 4 games. The first game was a bowl game and a loss to UK, which FSU probably would have won if Bobby like “Silver Britches” said looks away. He didn’t look away at L. Coles or more recently the best player on FSUs roster Preston Parker.

Don’t attach his character he is a good man and he loves his players, ask any FSU great… Derrick Brooks, Warrick Dunn, Charlie Ward… the man is loved.

As far as the attacks on Richt they are unwarranted, he is Bowden’s protégé, he is a good football coach but even a better man.

As far as Cliff Levingston’s comment on FSUs future bowl games appearances, didn’t UGA just play in the Capital 1 Bowl….

And “BigMike” Greg Reid made the right choice i.e. Deion Sanders, Leroy Butler, Terrell Buckley, Samari Rolle, Dexter Jackson, and Antonio Cromartie
And as your comment on “Free Shoes University” 1 it was Derrick Brooks who made the mistake of getting a few pairs of shoes and some pizza from an agent and he was suspended 3 games… (he turned out to be a pretty high character guy I’ll say) 2 – way to quote Steve Superior, I didn’t know he was so liked in GA…..


March 11th, 2009
8:55 am

recruits say,,,,”im not as high on them right now”,,,adults say the same thing when something happens at their workplace but yet stay or hang arond. once the real “recruits” look,,,then theyll make a decision,,, loss of scholarshipsisnt going to affect like most think at all (a total of what? 5 i think in 2 years? fsu will still be BCS bowl eligible and natl championship game eligible. play their cards right and the recruits will still be there.while i am a fsu fan and not saying what the athletes did was right,,,what is happening to usc and all the homes for free,,,payments to reggie bush? if your going to be fair,,,be fair is all i ask.

SEC fan

March 11th, 2009
8:53 am

For those who think Bowden or the coaches have no responsibility, the coaches are the leaders and as such they are indeed responsible for the team’s actions. This wasn’t just a few kids breaking the rules. The attitudes, environment, and ethics of the “team” won’t change because they were caught. Probation means that if they are caught stumbling again in the next 4 years, no Bowls/TV/Conf Championship games/etc and more scholarships gone. Top flight prospects who would choose to play ‘Russian roulette’ with their careers and go into that environment are simply crazy. Plenty of great schools that don’t have that axe hanging over their heads. Ogletree, Johnson, and the others are very smart to simply mark FSU off their lists. FSU fans and coaches will say this is nothing but it is truly serious and the smart prospects will recognize that and go somewhere else where they don’t have to worry about the axe falling. With FSU’s record for trouble, I sure wouldn’t want to bet on them being squeaky clean for the next 4 years.


March 11th, 2009
8:46 am

“Find me a Georgia game that isn’t vs. Florida (Florida is the draw folks, don’t get it twisted) that is nationally televised.

Georgia played on national television 8 times last year. You are a total moron. Have a great day.


March 11th, 2009
8:26 am

Richt couldn’t win the big game at FSU. Who was the OC in 99? And for all you Nole fans who were glad to see Richt leave in 01, well where have you been since he came to Athens. No coincidence that FSU’s tumble from glory started with Richt’s departure.

Ben M

March 11th, 2009
8:25 am

Thank you to naganole. Florida State starts the year on ABC nationally playing vs. Miami. The reason? The ACC and the TV network pushed so hard because ratings are great. Find me a Georgia game that isn’t vs. Florida (Florida is the draw folks, don’t get it twisted) that is nationally televised. Florida State will play nationally televised games at least 3 times this upcoming year and a game at BYU will likely be nationally televised.

These Georgia folks are really dilusional. Did you hear that Roy Williams and Bill Self are in a shoving match to see who can coach Georgia basketball? Yawn.

The ‘Noles will have a Top 10 recruiting class again while Georgia slips even further in the national rankings (worst collapse of a preseason #1 ever). 8-4 in 2009. Say goodnight to all the good will that Mark Richt has built up and they’ll probably blame Willie Martinez instead of the lack of talent development on the defensive side of the ball.

Go ‘Noles!


March 11th, 2009
8:15 am

Dear UF&UGAFANSCAN, I would hate for facts to change your argument about me, but I did ‘win the big one’ not once, but twice at FSU. Being a FSU fan, I expect more from you. Were you not a fan in the 90’s when I built that great offense including two Heisman trophy winners.

GA Tech Insider

March 11th, 2009
8:08 am

Unfortunately for FSU’s fans and innocent players, you will feel the repercussions of the lost scholarships for several years, just like GA Tech’s did.

While a few lost scholarship athletes every year may not seem like much, they do add up, and it affects a Team’s depth. When you play other high quality Teams year in and year out, it will start to take a toll.

This doesn’t mean that FSU won’t win a ton of games, but if they end up having any significant injuries, players who get suspended or transferred, then the lost scholarships will really be felt. FSU can’t miss on any players they bring in at that point and have to rely on walk on players, just like GA Tech has done the past several seasons.

From a potential recruit’s perspective, it’s reasonable to take into consideration these potential risks before opting to sign with FSU, just as they took them into consideration before signing with GA Tech in the past. It shouldn’t necessarily be a “deal killer,” but it should be good reason to pause, especially in light of the fact of how competitive the ACC is becoming.

At this juncture,it could be argued that the easier road to a BCS Bowl will be through Atlanta and Chapel Hill than through Tallahassee.


March 11th, 2009
8:02 am

To the people to make the smirk comments about the “Preacher Coach” at UGA:

You are very limited in your ability to discuss football. If you have to start every blog with an attempt of a personal attach on someone who has a person faith, you are a weak person.

Argue about football, don’t attach a persons faith.