Practice Report

The Florida State football team practiced for a second straight day in shorts and will conclude their first week of spring drills today in shells. Head coach Bobby Bowden said practice has gone "smoothly" so far before fielding questions on his graduate assistant opening and the situation surrounding the Colorado football program and Gary Barnett.

A SPOT TO FILL

With the departure of Kirby Smart to AP National Champion LSU to take full-time job, Florida State is looking for another graduate assistant to help out with the defensive backs. FSU coach Bobby Bowden said he might look to a former player to return to campus.

"If there is a graduate assistant and we have an opening and one of our players coaches that position, we would probably prefer him," Bowden said.

Bowden said that his staff was looking a former receiver Lawrence Dawsey before he took a position with South Florida. Former DB James Colzie, currently working in Miami at FIU is also in the mix.

BOWDEN BACKS BARNETT

Bowden clarified remarks he made regarding the sex scandal surrounding the University if Colorado football program at a speaking function at Clemson, S.C., saying that a general statement he made was not in reference to former CU kicker Katie Hnida.

Bowden was quoted in The (Columbia, S.C) State as saying: "I don't understand how a young lady can say she was abused, or whatever it was, two years later. At the time, why don't you report it? It seems like you ought to."

Those remarks, Bowden said, were in reference to the allegations three other females have brought against the University claiming Colorado players or recruits sexually assaulted them over two years ago. The author of the piece, according to the FSU coach, was mistaken, thinking the statement was in reference to Hnida specifically, who recently came forward in Sports Illustrated with allegations of her own.

"It was one of those things where you were having a general discussion, then I made a statement and somebody standing around thought I was referring to that girl," Bowden said of the report, which was even broadcast on ESPN's Sportcenter.

"I'll stand by what I said."

Following Wednesday's workout, Bowden also said he felt remarks CU coach Gary Barnett made assessing Hnida's as a kicker should not have been cause for criticism.

"These days everything is about being politically correct," Bowden said. "And being politically correct sometimes is like a fallacy. Here's a guy who is telling the truth and since its not what everyone wants to hear he (is criticized).

"I nearly relate political correctness to lying. It's like, ‘I'll say what you want to hear just so you don't get mad at me'. And that might not even be the truth. It's big these days. Especially in politics."

Bowden said he supports Barnett amidst the scandal and believes he is not alone as an exponent. The two have not spoken since FSU beat the Buffalos 47-7 in their September meeting.

"I've been around him enough to know what kind of guy he is. In the coaching society, he would be called a class individual. He has all the coaches pulling for him."

Bowden, a 51-year coaching veteran, said he was concerned with the effect that the scandal at Colorado would have on college football's image. He worries that the perception that an increasing percentage of the public you get was that "this is what's going on all over the country".

"It opens eyes. But the thing that is wrong is that this is not going on all over the country. So many people are going to point their fingers and say, ‘look what football players are doing.'"

Bowden said that the all-important campus visit an excellent recruiting tool and that if legislation is passed limiting prospect visits from two nights to one because of the situation at CU and other schools, it would be a mistake.

"You have prospects in town and you want to show them what college life is like. So you take them to a fraternity party or somewhere else…I do know this: I don't know a coach who would agree to let a player go out and do what (Colorado players) are accused of doing. I know Gary wouldn't."


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