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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Life and times of Adrian McPherson
By ROGER MILLS
Published April 21, 2005
Former FSU quarterback Adrian McPherson, expected to be selected in Saturday's first day of the NFL draft, seems to have stepped out of the shadow of uncertainty with regard to his legal problems. Here are the major events of his life over the past three years:
JANUARY-JULY 2002: Authorities open investigation into gambling allegations involving McPherson and others. FSU compliance director Bob Minnix can't substantiate rumors and NCAA is notified.
AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2002: After writing and bouncing five personal checks, McPherson cashes a $1,150 check from FSU student Latisha Gulley. Gulley's mother claims the check was stolen and forged. Gulley doesn't pursue the matter.
SEPTEMBER 2002: Former friends Melvin Capers Jr. and Otis Livingston implicate McPherson for gambling on NFL and college football games via the Internet, including FSU games.
OCT. 26-NOV. 2, 2002: McPherson comes off the bench to lead FSU to two late TDs in a 34-24 loss to Notre Dame. He then makes first FSU start, going 28-of-44 for 278 with two TDs and 53 yards rushing to beat Wake Forest.
NOV. 18, 2002: A blank check is reported stolen from R&R Truck and Auto Accessories. It is found to be forged and cashed for $3,500.
NOV. 23-25, 2002: McPherson is 8-of-20 for 80 yards in a 17-7 loss at N.C. State. The next day, FSU coach Bobby Bowden talks with McPherson after receiving calls from former players accusing the quarterback of throwing the game. After a second meeting, McPherson is dismissed for violating team rules.
NOV. 27, 2002: McPherson is charged with felony grand theft and misdemeanor theft in connection with the R&R check.
JAN. 13, 2003: McPherson enrolls at Division I-AA Murray State in Kentucky. He withdraws a month later.
JAN. 29, 2003: Handwriting analysis of stolen R&R check leads to two more felony charges.
MARCH 4, 2003: McPherson is charged with gambling on sports, including all FSU football games, a misdemeanor.
JULY 2, 2003: McPherson pleads no contest. He is sentenced to community service, 90 days of county work and probation. The plea agreement comes with "adjudication withheld," meaning he is not a convicted felon.
JAN. 2004: McPherson signs two-year deal with the Indiana Firebirds of the AFL. He becomes AFL Rookie of the Year.
FEBRUARY, 2005: McPherson spends Super Bowl week on a public relations blitz. He attends the Senior Bowl and meets owners, coaches and general managers. He then participates in the NFL Combine, answering questions of team representatives.
MARCH 29, 2005: McPherson conducts an impressive private workout in Bradenton. He runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds, weighs in at a sculpted 213 pounds, jumps 40 inches in the vertical leap and shows he can throw the ball some 70 yards downfield.