Jimbo Fisher is used to answering questions regarding off-field issues and his players.
Fisher placed the responsibility of his players’ actions on himself. It took 20 minutes for anyone to ask Fisher a question unrelated to domestic violence or team culture.
Coach Fisher explained to ESPN reporters in full-detail that he is extremely disappointed in the decisions his players are making and that he even takes partial responsibility for not being able to instill the mentality into the players that these crimes and actions are completely unacceptable. “Young people are going to make some mistakes, and you hope they’re not of a magnitude that has huge ramifications for them or their program”.
Fisher’s time at the podium in Pinehurst on Tuesday marked his first press conference since the Johnson and Cook incidents.
Will Fisher shed any light on the status of the Cook suspension?
Fisher said Florida State has always had programs for “over 40 days a year” in which “character-building” speakers are brought in to discuss topics such as drugs and violence.
Florida State suspended Cook indefinitely, and Fisher released a statement that said, in part, “We will do better”.
Fisher said he does not believe FSU has been treated unfairly by the national media but acknowledged domestic violence is much more than a Florida State issue.
Fisher also said he never considered dismissing Cook, a 1,000-yard rusher a year ago who should be a key part of the Seminoles’ upcoming offense if he’s eligible.
That should be an extremely hard number to swallow. We get more attention for it because of the success of our program. The alleged June 23 incident happened one day before Johnson was charged with misdemeanor battery for hitting a woman at a different Tallahassee bar. We’ve had a very extensive program.
Shanker reports Florida State’s players are now in a four-step program following the recent arrests. In that time, at least six Seminoles have been accused of domestic violence.
Fisher and president John Thrasher have implemented programs.
But they’re just small steps.
Additionally, Fisher has banned the team from bars and nightclubs.
Changes need to be made, and Fisher is saying all the right things in response to the growing questions about his program. That would seem to indicate that if Cook is found guilty, Fisher would have zero tolerance toward him, too. “No”, he said. “I make decisions based on facts of what goes on and wait until the case plays itself out”. According to Chip Patterson of CBS Sports, Cook’s court date has been pushed back to September 2-three days before FSU’s 2015 season opener. That news came not long after freshman quarterback De’Andre Johnson was kicked off the team after video showed him punching a woman in the face in a bar.
How Florida State handles its top running back and prevents future instances of violence against women will be the true measures of progress for this program.
The two cases are the latest off-field headaches for the three-time ACC champions, who also won the national title in 2013 and reached the playoff last season. “We try not to put them where the hot spots are, where things happen”. “It’s a collective ban”.