McPherson, kicked off the team Monday by Bowden, surrendered to Tallahassee police and was released about 45 minutes later after posting bail. Across town, Bowden's Seminoles continued preparations for Saturday's showdown against rival Florida.
"Just hate what happened. Not much I can say about it. Just hate what happened," Bowden said when asked of his reaction to McPherson's arrest.
McPherson was charged with misdemeanor theft for stealing a blank check from R&R Truck Accessories in Tallahassee and felony grand theft for receiving stolen goods after the check was cashed. A friend, Melvin Capers Jr., was arrested this week and charged with grand theft and passing a forged check. He was released on bail Monday.
No other FSU players are expected to be tied to the case, according to Tallahassee police.
Police said Capers cashed a $3,500 check and gave the money to McPherson, who then gave his friend $30. On Tuesday, McPherson admitted involvement in the theft of the check but said he did not cash it or receive money from it. McPherson and his parents, joined by attorney Grady C. Irvin Jr., conducted a brief but accusatory news conference later in St. Petersburg. He blasted FSU coaches for failing to gather all the facts before suspending him. He also accused the Seminoles of turning their backs on him.
"What could have we done, you think? I don't know much more we could have done," Bowden said when asked if he could have helped McPherson. Bowden also said he wasn't offended by McPherson's comments. The sophomore started the last four games for FSU, going 3-1.
"Not considering the circumstances," Bowden said. "Like I said last night, I believe if I was him, I would have felt the same way. But I did know the story and most of you all did not know the story, so I could understand the suspense there."
Because of the way McPherson was treated, the player said Tuesday he could never wear a Seminoles uniform again. Bowden, meanwhile, said Tuesday following practice he was willing to re-evaluate McPherson's status after "the thing has settled down."
Bowden's tone changed Wednesday. He also believes no other players will be implicated in the case.
"I would have to think about that when it comes down. It's looking more bleak though," Bowden said of McPherson. "I think it's strictly an isolated case. I never even suspected that other players were involved. I knew somebody else was involved but it was not a player (Capers)."
Bowden also feels his team will be mentally prepared for the Gators despite all that has transpired the last few days. He also believes McPherson's well-being weighed on players' minds.
‘They've practiced good. They have not shown it on the field," Bowden said. "The way they have practiced you would never have known anything that occurred, except one of your quarterbacks was missing. I am sure there were some players concerned about my actions, being to stringent on it (McPherson's dismissal) and why. And I couldn't tell them why."
On Tuesday, Irvin criticized Bowden's decision, citing an uneven treament of FSU football players. "Adrian McPherson is responsible," Irvin said. "He's not saying the school is responsible for anything he did. But I have to question would the circumstances have been different if Adrian McPherson were a Heisman Trophy candidate and Florida State were playing for a national championship."
He's likely referring to 1999, when receiver Peter Warrick, ironically a Bradenton Southeast graduate, was suspended then reinstated for his involvement in an unauthorized discount of designer clothes at a Dillards' department store in Tallahassee.
One difference is that Warrick immediately confessed to school officials about involvement. Fellow receiver Laveranues Coles, who was with Warrick at the store as proven on videotape, denied any involvement. He was dismissed from the team.
In Coles' case, he had prior issues with the athletic department. Coles also had denied any involvement with sports agent Carl Poston in 1999. It later was proven that Coles attended a party that summer at Poston's home in Houston, all expenses paid, in direct violation of NCAA eligibilty rules. Poston hoped to lure Coles as a client, but Coles chose to sign with another agent.
"Now a days, in life, just not here but everywhere," Bowden said. "You just keep your fingers crossed. People who raise children know what that's like You raise children, they all don't turn out the same, although you try to teach them all to be the same. But when you are working with 85 to 100 players, you just keep your fingers crossed that everybody behaves themselves."