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Charges dropped against FSU's Warren

Compiled from Times staff and correspondent and wire reports

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 17, 2000


TALLAHASSEE -- The State Attorney's Office has dropped a misdemeanor charge of battery against Florida State senior defensive end David Warren.

"There was conflicting testimony between the witnesses," Assistant State Attorney Neil Chamelin said Monday. "There was not sufficient evidence to go ahead and prove a violation had been committed beyond a reasonable doubt."

The state reached that decision Thursday, nine days after its first case-management conference with Warren's attorney and one day before senior quarterback Marcus Outzen became the third FSU player arrested since the summer. Police arrested Outzen and charged him Friday with simple battery after they said he fought with a neighbor. Warren, 22, was arrested and charged with simple battery on a former girlfriend on Sept. 2. He had no criminal record and was not taken to jail. He entered a written plea of not guilty.

Bobby Bowden did not suspend Warren for the next game, against Georgia Tech, which invited criticism that the coach was lax on discipline. (Bowden immediately suspended Outzen for one game.) At the time, Bowden refused to comment other than to say he had talked to Warren and "I know the story. You all need to find it out."

- BRIAN LANDMAN

FSU: Tackle may be out 2 weeks

TALLAHASSEE -- Starting offensive tackle Tarlos Thomas could be out two weeks with a sprained right MCL. The 6-foot-5, 320-pound senior did not practice because of the injury.

Thomas, a first team All-ACC selection last season, sustained the injury during FSU's 63-14 victory over Duke when a defender ran into his knee. "(The loss of Thomas) takes a little bit of the maturity away," offensive line coach Jimmy Heggins said. "Now you got guys who got to step up." Thomas likely will be sidelined for Saturday's game against Virginia. Senior Donald Heaven will move up as the backup offensive tackle.

WEINKE STATUS: Quarterback Chris Weinke, who was named ACC offensive back of the week after passing for a school-record 536 yards against Duke, will be limited in practice this week. "We'll probably go slower with him this week than we did even last week because (the ankle) was sore after the game," coach Bobby Bowden said.

- ALEX ABRAMS

UF: Grossman earns honors

GAINESVILLE -- Florida quarterback Rex Grossman was named the SEC offensive player of the week after passing for five touchdowns in a 38-7 victory against Auburn.

Grossman, who started the season as the No. 2 quarterback and dropped to No. 3 two weeks ago, was 14-for-23 for 232 yards against the Tigers. The redshirt freshman was the sixth UF quarterback to pass for five touchdowns in a game.

It was Grossman's second start and the Bloomington, Ind., native said he is becoming more comfortable with the offense. "Experience definitely helps a lot," he said. "You can learn on paper as much as you want, but until you actually get some game-time experience, you can't really understand it."

Grossman, who leads Division I-A with a 200.0 passing rating, is 59-of-93 (63.4 percent) for 938 yards with 14 touchdowns and one interception. He has 75 consecutive passes without an interception, dating to the Middle Tennessee State game on Sept. 9.

BYE WEEK: Florida has two weeks before facing Georgia on Oct. 28. CBS will televise the Florida-Georgia game at AllTel Stadium in Jacksonville. Kickoff has moved from 1 p.m. to 3:30.

- DEBI JONES

USF: Safety Mize may start

TAMPA -- Senior free safety Jay Mize, who has been out with what was thought to be a season-ending neck injury, practiced and could start against Liberty on Saturday.

Mize "feels fine," coach Jim Leavitt said, but has been held out of two games, including the Bulls' loss at Southern Miss on Oct. 6, because of a herniated disc. He did not practice at full speed but was in pads.

"I'm not sure if he will be back," Leavitt said. "(But) if doctors give approval, he will be starting."

Linebacker Vassay Marc, also a senior, has a similar injury but one that is considered more serious because of the location in his neck. He did not practice.

OTHER INJURIES: Leavitt said backup tight end Dan Rodimer, out several weeks with a concussion, may not return this season.

Meanwhile, linebacker Marshall Smith (sprained MCL) practiced and may be ready for Saturday. Nose tackle Lee Roy Selmon Jr. (ankle, knee) and running back Derrick Rackard (ankle) are probable, receiver DeAndrew Rubin (ankle) is questionable, and defensive end John Brown (ankle) is doubtful.

HE SAID IT: Leavitt, who was co-defensive coordinator at Kansas State with current Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, said he couldn't root for anybody in Oklahoma's victory Saturday over then-No. 2 Kansas State. But he left no doubt where his loyalties lie. "I sent a note to Bob today," Leavitt said. "I said he'd better win the national championship this year, because we're not eligible (this season)."

- SHARON GINN

FAMU: Dealing with turnovers

TALLAHASSEE -- After Saturday's 30-10 home loss to North Carolina A&T placed Florida A&M a defeat away from virtual playoff elimination, Rattlers coach Billy Joe said the elimination of turnovers is his team's top priority. "Turnovers are at the top of the list of problems that we have," Joe said. "We need to stop fumbling the ball, and we have to stop giving up interceptions, and we're going to find a way to do that."

- JABARI RITCHIE

UCF: QB Penn returns

ORLANDO -- Injured Central Florida quarterback Vic Penn returned to practice, but coach Mike Kruczek is undecided as to who will start Saturday against Louisiana-Monroe. "Vic will dress this week and he'll practice this week," Kruczek said. "But the determination of who's going to play won't happen until the end of the week."

In Penn's absence, redshirt freshman Ryan Schneider has filled in and made his claim for the starting job.

- DAVID MARSTERS

Miami: JJ visits Hurricanes

CORAL GABLES -- Jimmy Johnson visited Miami to offer praise for its victory against Florida State two weeks ago. Johnson coached the Hurricanes from 1984-88 and was last known to be retired at his home in the Keys after resigning as Dolphins coach in January. "It's only the fourth time I've been out of the Keys since retirement," he said. UM coach Butch Davis worked under Johnson at Miami and with the Dallas Cowboys. UM did not practice and resumes its routine today to prepare for Temple.

-- TIMES WIRES

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