A recent article by a New York Times reporter has the garnet and gold seeing red. According to the article, after an early morning celebration of yet another FSU victory, at least one FSU starter was involved in a hit and run accident. Not unusual on a hard partying campus after a celebration. Lots of folks have been there … but, of course, there’s more to the story.
According to the Tallahassee Police Department, the three occupants of the at-fault vehicle fled the scene. Subsequent reports have them returning and admitting guilt anywhere from half an hour to an hour later. What isn’t under dispute is that, at some point, the FSU campus police showed up. How much they had to do with how the case was handled from there is up for grabs at this point. What we do know is that the driver, whose license had been suspended for failure to pay a previous traffic citation, was only ticketed. Instead of being arrested for leaving the scene or, at the least tested for intoxication, the driver was ticketed and sent on his way AFTER the police learned who he was. Even more fishy, the record of the event failed to make it into the police computers, which list as public record citations and arrests.
The Times is calling cronyism and favoritism, implying without implicitly stating that the school is trying to sweep the incident under the rug. Hardly the first institution to do so … and hardly the first time a Seminole player has been caught up in a legal snafu. So, while the legal system ignores the issue, the court of public opinion is already in session. And as lawyers like Martin Russo or Marlen Kruzhkov would tell you, the court of law ain’t always quick.
FSU has fired back calling the reporter’s version of events unfair and lacking facts. Of course they did. Did anyone actually believe the school would come out and say, “Yes, so, I covered it all up for the good of the team.” Never going to happen.
At this point, the issue, much like that with Winston, will certainly not be decided until well after the season. At that point the law might throw the book at these players, but don’t count on it.
Ronn Torossian’s Final thoughts: The only thing that stands to suffer now is the school’s reputation. Not that Seminole fans will care too much if their team makes it back to the title game.