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Seminoles freshman tailback will transfer

By ALEX ABRAMS
© St. Petersburg Times
published December 15, 2001

TALLAHASSEE -- Freshman Eric Shelton, unhappy with his role as the third-team tailback, will transfer, Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said Friday.

"He just doesn't feel like he's been able to play enough here," Bowden said. "I've talked to him, and I told him I'd give him a release. It's all cordial."

A former Parade All-American from Lexington, Ky., the 6-foot-3, 235-pound Shelton played in all 11 games this season, gaining 130 yards on 29 carries. He had a career-high 95 yards during a 43-7 win over Virginia on Oct. 20. He will not play when FSU faces Virginia Tech Jan. 1 in the Gator Bowl.

Bowden said he had spoken with Shelton since midseason about the possibility of his transferring.

"I've been halfway knowing it for about a couple of months," Bowden said.

Bowden said he was not sure where Shelton would transfer, but the coach typically forbids former Seminoles from playing for other ACC schools or other Florida schools.

PRACTICE: FSU returned to practice for the first time in two weeks and spent an hour on conditioning drills. "There's probably got to be some rust," Bowden said. "It's not likely to pick up where you left off."

INJURY UPDATE: Starting linebacker Bradley Jennings is undergoing rehabilitation after surgery on his right knee to remove damaged cartilage. He rode the exercise bicycle during practice and will be revaluated before the bowl game. ... Starting offensive tackle Brett Williams, who missed the past two games because of a sprained right MCL, returned to practice.

Stagg Bowl

SALEM, Va. -- Few coaches have had as much success as Mount Union's Larry Kehres.

A victory tonight in the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl, the NCAA Division III national championship game, would be the sixth national championship for Kehres' Purple Raiders.

The Purple Raiders (13-0) face Bridgewater (12-0), a team whose history is largely one of failure. The Eagles, who went 0-10 in 1998, broke a 21-year string of losing seasons last season, finishing 10-2. This is Bridgewater's sixth winning season in 70.

But Kehres, who has coached each of Mount Union's championship teams and guided the Purple Raiders to victories in 81 of their past 82 games, said he isn't interested in talking about history, at least until after the game.

"The only thing that matters is what these players are doing," he said. "That's the only way I can look at it."

COLORADO: An student said she was raped by several men Nov. 7 at an off-campus party attended by about six football players and 15 high school recruits. University police in Boulder are investigating, but no arrests have been made. Coach Gary Barnett, who said he hadn't spoken to police, said he has talked with some, but not all, of the players being questioned. "In a situation like this, there's going to obviously be more than one side," Barnett said. "There are so many things."

MIAMI: Offensive lineman Bryant McKinnie did not return to practice with the rest of the team Thursday because of an injured left knee, but he expects to play in the Rose Bowl. "It was worse than I first thought it was, but it's not too bad," McKinnie said. "I should be able to play as long as I keep doing what the doctors tell me to."

OHIO STATE: Coach Jim Tressel said it was an easy decision to reinstate quarterback Steve Bellisari as captain after the senior's arrest on a drunken-driving charge. "In my mind it was real simple, that his teammates elected him that," Tressel said. Bellisari was reintroduced as captain Monday despite his Nov. 16 arrest. He pleaded no-contest to the charge and will serve a three-day jail term beginning Jan. 11. It remains unclear if Bellisari will play in the Jan. 1 Outback Bowl.

-- Information from other news organizations was used in this report.

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