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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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President: Overhaul set before scandal
By BRIAN LANDMAN, Times Staff Writer
Published October 7, 2007
TALLAHASSEE - Florida State president T.K. Wetherell said he had planned to overhaul the athletic department months before learning of an academic misconduct scandal involving 23 student-athletes and two university employees.
"We started that back in January," he said.
Two senior administrators - Charlie Carr and Pam Overton - resigned effective Monday, and Wetherell said there are no plans to replace them. He sent a letter dated June 1 to athletic director Dave Hart informing him that his contract, which expires in January 2009, will not be renewed.
"We've set up a committee on campus, but with our open records, we'll have to go through a (private search) firm to talk to people," he said of finding an athletic director.
As for the academic scandal, Wetherell reiterated that the school is finalizing its internal investigative report that it will send to the NCAA, which will use that report as the starting point for its investigation.
REUNION: FSU linebackers coach Chuck Amato said the emotions of facing his former players didn't get to him all week, until Friday night. Make that early Saturday.
"I woke up at 3:30 this morning, and I couldn't go back to sleep, so I came in here and worked out for two hours, went home and wanted to go to bed, but I couldn't," he said.
He called the experience bittersweet but lingered on the field for several minutes after the game exchanging hugs and a few words with many of the players he recruited and coached during his seven-year tenure at North Carolina State.
"They're a bunch of winners over there," he said. "They don't quit. They never quit for seven years, and guess what, they won't. That's the greatest tribute they can give a coach to do that."
WEATHER DELAY: With 3:55 left in the third quarter and FSU driving, lightning in the area forced both teams to the locker room and fans scurrying for cover (and the exits). The public address announcer incorrectly said the game had been called. Oops.
"All we did was lay around and try to treat it like another halftime," FSU coach Bobby Bowden said, adding that he's never had a game stopped like that in more than half a century in the business.
The players returned 39 minutes later, and, after a 10-minute warmup, the game resumed. FSU quarterback Xavier Lee, who had hit five straight passes before the stoppage, struggled a bit afterward.
"It took us a while to get back in the groove," he said. "It set me back because I got cold. But at the same time, whatever it takes, we've got to be ready, got to go."
TOUGH LOSS: N.C. State star junior tailback Andre Brown broke a foot in the first half. He had three catches for 30 yards and nine runs for 11. He had 179 yards and a touchdown and 113 yards the last two meetings respectively against FSU, both Wolfpack wins.
HOMECOMING: The Wolfpack is packed with Floridians, including a half dozen from the Tampa Bay area, including senior linebacker LeRue Rumph (Clearwater Central Catholic), sophomore receiver Donald Bowens (St. Petersburg) and injured quarterback Harrison Beck(Countryside).
TV GIG: Some teams have a player introduce the starting lineups on television, but FSU went a different route. Gov. Charlie Crist did the honors.
WELCOME BACK: Wetherell entertained about 40 of his teammates from the 1967 FSU team at his house Friday night and then in his luxury box at the stadium Saturday. The '67 bunch went 7-2-2.