One third of what this Turkey considers to be a big edge for the Seminoles has found himself headed home early. Linebacker A.J. Nicholson was sent home after being accused of sexual assault by a woman in Hollywood, Florida, where the Seminoles are camped in preparation for the Orange Bowl meeting with the Nittany Lions. He was suspended for a violation of team policy, presumably the established curfew. Read more about it here.
[…] One guy who made a mistake early—early in the wee hours, that is—was Florida State Senior linebacker A.J. Nicholson, who was accused of sexual assault by a 19 year-old woman in Hollywood, Florida. Nicholson was suspended for this game and sent home for a violation of a team rule, according to Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden. At Thursday’s press conference, Bowden was asked about the impact of losing this quantum of senior “leadership” [quotes mine] for a big game. […]
Pete Hallman says
Nicholson has previously been arrested TWICE this year? Good grief. Dude should’ve gone to Miami, where they’re very familiar with arraignment and bail procedures.
The Nittany Turkey says
Perhaps Anwar Phillips could recommend a good attorney.
Pete Hallman says
“Perhaps Anwar Phillips could recommend a good attorney.”
Point taken. My surprise at the two priors and mention of Miami, however, is more a reflection of my disappointment in Coach Bowden. Penn State has had problem players, too (Anwar, Rashard Casey, et al), but I can’t remotely imagine Paterno allowing any player, no matter how talented or integral to the team’s success, to remain on the team following two arrests, let alone in a single season. It’s not ‘JoePa worship’ here – it’s how he’s handled things historically. He kept Connor out for a quarter of the season for involvement in ‘prank’ phone calls (although I’ve also heard they were more along the lines of true harassment), and Dan’s a very decent player. Wouldn’t allow him to even dress for at least the first two games. I’m sure if Dan had cut even a single class during his ‘penance’, he’d be suiting up somewhere else for the 2007 opener.
Joe hung in there with Casey, and played him during the court process, but in the end all charges were dropped. I have no doubt, though, that had Rashard been subsequently involved in even a jaywalking offense, he would have been long gone. Again, I’m just surprised and disappointed by Bowden, but I don’t pretend to know the backstories in any of this kid’s misadventures.
Senior ‘leadership’? Sheesh.
The Nittany Turkey says
Seminole, Inc. CEO Bowden does seem to either turn his back on a lot of shenanigans or let the transgressors go with a mere slap on the wrist. I agree that Paterno is the stricter disciplinarian.
However, boys will be boys. FSU had Lavernaues Coles and Peter Warrick making under the table discount clothing deals, while PSU had Curtis Enis accepting a fancy suit from an NFL agent. Both teams have had DUI issues this year. Arrowgate and the Phillips situation were certainly embarrassments to PSU. My only point here is that where there are young men (or boys, in some cases), there will be shenanigans. Alas, it seems that more and more of this stuff is plaguing Division I-A these days.
How the head coach (or CEO, in Bowden’s case) deals with these shenanigans makes a big difference.
An interesting case to look back on is the Bobby Engram/Rick Sayles stereo theft in 1992. The two players were in an apartment building looking for Richie Anderson when they saw a stereo they could boost, so they did, and they got caught. Paterno called the jail to talk with Bobby, but told the officer that he didn’t want to speak to Sayles, which inspired Sayles to quit the team knowing that he had fallen out of favor with JoePa. On the other hand, we know that Engram returned to become a part of the best offense in PSU history. Was Joe playing favorites? I think so.
Connor’s case is interesting. He and his buddies apparently harassed an elderly PSU ex-coach who is a friend of Paterno’s by imitating Joe’s voice in an attempt to “punish” the ex-coach for going public with his less than flattering assessment of Connor’s friend Mark Rubin. Initially, Connor was suspended indefinitely, which later turned out to be the first three games (in which he really wasn’t needed, anyway). However, Judicial Affairs took the lead in this case. His original suspension was reduced after Connor sent a written apology to the ex-coach and his wife.
Joe might play some favorites (like Engram) and his players will do questionable or illegal things from time to time (Connor, Phillips, E.Z. Smith), but I still believe, biased as I am, that Paterno runs the cleanest program in Division I-A.