Firing at FSU

Former FSU quarterback Adrian McPherson will soon have his day in court. His attorney -- Grady Irvin, Jr. -- has alleged NCAA violations by players and suggesting that Coach Bobby Bowden and others in the athletic department are on the way out as a result of their handling of information about McPherson. "It has been relayed to me that jobs are possibly gonna be lost at Florida State University. I am convinced this is Coach Bowden's last year," he said. Click here for that entire interview.

Here's the Grady Irvin Jr. interview Wednesday in Tallahassee. Adrian McPherson's trial on felony and misdemeanor charges related to a check stolen from a Tallahassee auto shop is in July. Jury selection is set for May 30.

At a case-management hearing Wednesday morning, Leon County judge Timothy Harley granted a request to expedite a separate trial for McPherson, FSU's former starting quarterback last season, on a misdemeanor gambling charge.

Irvin Jr. asked for the earliest possible appearance so that McPherson, who was not present in the courtroom, ``can get on with his life.''

OPENING COMMENTS

"There is a continuous amount of information which has been dispersed by the state attorney's office. Those matters have continued to impact a teenage kid, every facet of his life. People are showing up at his job. This all has to come to an end. Judge Harley was considerate enough to allow us to try to get this case to trial and try to get this matter resolved. You can't try this case in the media. This case has to be tried in the courtroom. I look forward to this case moving forward."

Q. WOULD AN ACQUITTAL ON THE GAMBLING CHARGE NECESSARILY AVOID FOR ADRIAN A LIFETIME BAN FROM THE NCAA?

"It appears that the NCAA has somewhat taken a backseat to this particular criminal proceeding. We have not heard from the NCAA recently. They have not contacted my office recently, nor have they contacted the McPhersons recently. Some time ago there was communication between their office and my office. There had been discussions. I think the incoming president of the NCAA has expressed that he wants to address the issue of gambling.

"We have tremendous concern with the existing policy that the NCAA has with respect to gambling. They have made billions of dollars off the backs of inner-city kids and other athletes who participate in collegiate athletics _ they're not all inner-city kids, some are middle class Americans, some are from middle America as well, but they've made billions and billions of dollars off these kids and I am shocked if not appalled that they do not have a mechanism in place to address an issue such as this where a kid is accused of gambling.

"That's not to say that Mr. McPherson has gambled or has a gambling problem, but he has nobody to turn to for counseling or any type of resource and a multi-billion dollar [institution] like the NCAA ought to be ashamed that it does not have in place something to help kids who need counseling. We're proceeding and the NCAA has taken a backseat role for whatever reason I don't know. It is my understanding that FSU is not out of the woods on this as a university or as an institution. That information has been relayed to me. It has been relayed to me that jobs are possibly gonna be lost at Florida State University. I am convinced this is Coach Bowden's last year. I don't think you'll see Coach Bowden coaching football after this coming year."

Q. AS A RESULT OF THIS?

"I am not at liberty to say why. But I think this is his last year and I have tremendous respect for him. I have watched him grow up as a kid in Florida. I have admired him from afar. I was at a banquet with him about two years ago. I got an opportunity to meet him when my fiancee at the time was being inducted into the sports hall of fame.

"But on this one right here, I think the coach dropped the ball. I think he really dropped the ball. If you pick up the phone to call the parents to say their kid is late for practice, but you don't pick up the phone and call the parents and say "let me tell you that these allegations are going on about your son.''? I think a closer look is gonna be taken at FSU as a whole. I think there is a liability on their part that this matter has gotten this far."

Q. WHERE HAVE YOU HEARD THESE RUMORS THAT THERE ARE JOBS ON THE LINE AND THIS IS GONNA BE COACH BOWDEN'S LAST YEAR?

"That information has been provided to me by someone very close to this investigation. I am not at liberty to mention that person's name that I have had a close working relationship with from a standpoint of this investigation and I have to believe what he says, that jobs are gonna be lost. And clearly jobs are gonna be lost, according to him, if the NCAA does one iota of an investigation."

Q. DOES IT MIFF YOU … THAT YOU HAVE SIX OTHER INDIVIDUALS WHO ADMITTED THEY HAVE GAMBLED AND YET YOU HAVE THE ONLY CLIENT WHO IS BEING TRIED HERE?

"It concerns me that Adrian McPherson has been singled out. Of course he's got the biggest name. This state attorney's office has a well documented history of allowing people second, third and even fourth chances when it comes to them making errors of judgment whether they've been accused of things., in this particular incident, not only has the university not come to the aid of Adrian McPherson, but it appears that the state attorney's office in and of itself has chosen in its own form and fashion to zealously go after if not overzealously go after Adrian McPherson and that's very disturbing. I mean, we've got people out here getting DUIs, play football, who have put in jeopardy the lives of children, babies. I mean, a drunk driver is a dangerous person. And I mean you basically give someone a slap on the wrist is very disconcerting."

Q. WHY IS ADRIAN BEING SINGLED OUT?

"That trucking company _ people need to take a closer look at that trucking company. Its association with certain boosters, people who contribute financially to the institution. In short, Adrian's been used as a scapegoat. It is my understanding, and only my understanding, that it is not uncommon for athletes to go to this trucking company and to exchange autograph items for cash. Whether it be for a pair of used cleats, I understand, was a very common undertaking, whether it be a autographed practice jersey, or bowl jersey, it is my understanding. I have not been able to confirm that. I have not taken the depositions in that particular case, which is a grand theft case, But I think you all have to find it somewhat amusing that some of the top athletes, top stars, found this place to be a place of refuge. It is frequented quite often by players. There's smoke. Whether there's fire is yet to be determined. HAVE YOU DISCUSSED THAT WITH THE NCAA? I am not at liberty to discuss what we have informed the NCAA of as it pertains to any investigation."

Q. DID ADRIAN EVER EXCHANGE AUTOGRAPHS, JERSEYS, ANY SORT OF MEMORABILIA, FOR CASH AT R&R?

"Once again I am not at liberty to discuss things that may be under investigation by the NCAA. I can tell you I have no personal knowledge that he did so."

Q. AS FAR AS THE NCAA, THERE IS NO INVESTIGATION UNTIL THESE CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS HAVE BEEN CONCLUDED.

That's aoccording to the NCAA?

Q. YEAH.

"Hmmph. That's all I have to say to that is 'hmmph'. And if there's not. If that's accurate. You have to ask yourself why? People are making legitimate bets on collegiate sports and the NCAA is not interested? I find that hard to believe."

Q. WHO IS BETTING?

"Legal bets? People in Vegas. People in Tallahassee. People in Miami. People all over. You can do it legally. It's not illegal to make a legal bet."

Q. The GAMBLING CASE AND CHECK CASE LINKED, BUT THIS ONE MORE IMPORTANT FOR ADRIAN'S FUTURE?

"I think the gambling case really, really impacts his future as far as education is concerned. I look at education and that's what's most concerning, this kid needs to know where he's gonna be going to school next fall and that's of course if we're successful in this trial. And then we'll hopefully try to resolve something with the grand theft case which the state is demonstrated an unwillingness to try to reach some resolution on that case. They are not offering a plea. They have been adamant in that position. I don't know if politics is involved, who the heck knows?

"If this kid was not Adrian Mcpherson I would not be talking to you. This case would have probably been resolved a long time ago by way of plea and Adrian would be ready to go home for the summer or working in some summer program for fitness or something like that."

Q. A lot of THE EVIDENCE HAS BEEN LUMPED TOGETHER?

"It's called let's throw a lot of shit on the wall and hope something sticks. That's what that is."

AGAIN, YOU DON'T HAVE SPECIFIC NAMES OF INDIVIDUALS WHO ALLEGEDLY SOLD AUTOGRAPHS AT R&R?

"You'll get it out of the depositions. I will inquire about it (at trial). We've got our trial date."

WHAT IS ADRIAN DOING?

"He's doing something in the area of athletics."

IF THIS GOES FAVORABLY, WILL IT CLEAR WAY TO RETURN TO SCHOOL IN THE FALL?

"Yes."

EDITOR'S NOTE:

FSU director of media relations Browning Brooks denied Bowden is going anywhere soon.

``There is no plan for any change there,'' she said. ``We have a contract with him [through the 2007 season].''

As far as Irvin's other allegations, ``If Mr. Irvin has any indication of any potential NCAA violations, then he needs to give us that information,'' Brooks said. ``He needs to produce it so that we can look into it.''


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