An Oregon running back is jailed for choking his girlfriend and throwing her to the ground. Two UTEP players plead guilty to robbery. An SMU player is suspended after being arrested on a rape charge. And Urban Meyer boots another of his Top One-Per Center's, this time for illegal use of the hands against two women.
Yes, boys will be boys. But isn't it refreshing that they're some other school's boys, instead of names that appear on the backs of garnet jerseys.
And doesn't it give your Seminole Spirit a lift to know it's not by luck or coincidence? That it's all part of a plan. A process. And changes from the top down, including:
Recruiting for more than how many stars a kid has. Jimbo said it best in his first week as head coach: "We’ll win games with talent. We’ll win championships with character." You've gotta believe the days of FSU going after problem children like Willy Williams are long gone.
Demanding the best, on and off the field. Fisher has set the bar higher for both play and deportment.
Christian Ponder said as much last week: “There’s been a big change. Everyone’s being held accountable." But it's not only Fisher. The entire coaching staff is now on the same page, and we're talking about more than the playbook. Said Ponder, "Just having all these new fresh faces in, it’s a lot of different and I think it’s different in the sense that it’s being better."
New leadership is taking hold. Indications are that more guys are serious about winning. That includes things like knowing their assignments and giving 100%, but also not doing anything to hurt the team. Potential recruits are getting those messages loud and clear early on in the recruiting process. Plus, there are more players modeling good behavior -- Ponder and Manuel for starters.
Okay, reality check. There's no illusion that FSU's roster is stocked with choir boys. And no guarantee that none will ever make the wrong kind of headlines. After all, these are testosterone-fueled young men used to being praised and treated somewhat like celebrities.
But it's nice to believe that embarrassing themselves and their team is becoming the exception. Not a matter of gritting your teeth knowing another ugly incident could happen at any moment.
Hey, but if anyone asks, let's just say that none of us is gloating over the lack of face-palming headlines about Nole players. After all, Fate may well be listening. And you know how much that fickle force loves to screw up a good thing.