FSU cracking down after 2 football players arrested
School president, coach condemning 2 players' actions
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Embarrassing moments and bad decisions, some caught on camera, are plaguing Florida State University's football team.
One player was tossed from the team and another was suspended after altercations with women, including former FSU quarterback and Jacksonville native, De'Andre Johnson.
Johnson's decision to hit a woman in a bar went viral after it was caught on surveillance video and released to the media.
Dalvin Cook, running back for FSU, remains suspended from the team after turning himself in after a woman told police he had punched her.
According to police, it isn't the first time Cook has had a run-in with the law.
A new report released by Tallahassee Animal Services shows that Cook was issued a citation for chaining up three puppies with a heavy chain that kept the young dogs from being able to move.
According to Animal Control, an officer found the three puppies tied down with a heavy chain around their necks, choking the animals and making it impossible for them to move.
The officer said that the dogs had also been outside without any shelter and that it had been raining on the animals.
Cook was ordered to pay a $275 fine or he would have had to show up for a court appearance in Leon County.
Coach Jimbo Fisher announced his players won't be going to bars anymore and school President John Thrasher, a Jacksonville native, addressed the team Monday.
Florida State's reputation gets a black eye, if you will, when athletes make bad decisions, not the least of which would be getting into a bar fight with a woman.
Jacksonville University and University of North Florida say their codes of conduct apply to all students, including athletes.
Alan Verlander, former Jacksonville University athletic director, said that sometimes it can seem like there is a double standard for students and student athletes.
"You represent our athletic department. You represent our university. We won't tolerate these certain kind of actions," said Verlander who spent about 15 years involved with college athletics, including his time at Jacksonville University.
Verlander, who is now the executive director of the Jacksonville Sports Council, went on to say it's tough to worry about all the athletes in a program or on a team, but that's the job.
"And you see President Thrasher coming out, saying 'I do not tolerate anything like this.' So it's just this entitlement generation you're going to have to deal with, and you're going to see more and more of this," Verlander said.
News4Jax asked JU and UNF for insight into how they deal with student athletes, and referred to what Florida State is going through.
UNF's Lee Moon said in an email: "The Athletic Department at the University of North Florida doesn't have a formal policy regarding our athletes visiting bars; however, the University encourages our student-athletes and all our students to obey the law and to display good character and judgement at all times."
A JU spokesman sent a statement and said: "The University's Code of Conduct calls for behavior that demonstrates respect for oneself, respect for others, respect for property, respect for authority, and honesty. Violations of any rules and regulations relating to students constitute conduct for which students may be disciplined, whether such conduct occurs on or off campus."
So does the discipline at FSU fit the crime? Verlander said team building is the reason it seems appropriate to him.
"It's accountability! Because maybe the actions of a very few are going to penalize the rest. So you'll see the team come together. And that's what you want as a coach. Going through certain things, your team really rallies around that," Verlander said.
Verlander said he applauds Fisher for acting quickly and proactively. He also said coaches like Fisher spend as much time as risk managers as they do working out the X's and O's of the game.
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