Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher took some shots at the media and how it has covered Florida State’s football players with regard to alleged violations and how they have been handled. Fisher was visibly upset with the mounting coverage of his program while he is just trying to coach each game in front of him and give his team the best chance to win a second straight national championship.
“I think we need to be more responsible in our reporting, opinions and based off facts and not write articles that are half true and not all the way true,” Fisher said earlier this week. When asked to specify what coverage or story may have pushed him to the limit on Wednesday, Fisher shifted the focus to Notre Dame, Florida State’s opponent this Saturday.
“We’re moving on to Notre Dame,” Fisher said during the weekly ACC coaches conference call. “[Monday’s] press conference is over. We’re getting focused on this game. We’re moving forward. That’s where our focus and concentration is right now.”
Asked to at least address a particular story or criticism of coverage of his team, Fisher cut off the question and stuck to his stance.
“We’re moving on to Notre Dame,” Fisher said once more. “We’re getting ready for this game. We have a great game, a great opportunity. That’s the direction in which we’re moving.”
Not satisfied with not having the question answered, the reporter asked once more for a follow-up, as any solid journalist with integrity would do. Like a broken record, Fisher again relayed his response.
“We’re moving on to Notre Dame,” Fisher said for a third time. “We have a great game this weekend. We’re getting ready to prepare for that game. That’s where our sole focus and concentration is.”
Fisher has seen his highly-ranked football program in the headlines for all the wrong reasons lately, and at various points throughout the season. Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Jameis Winston was suspended for one game earlier this season and was informed late last week he will be scheduled to face a disciplinary hearing at Florida State to review potential violations of the university code of conduct. The hearing stems from an ongoing Title IX investigation into how the university handled an alleged rape, for which Winston was never charged by local or state authorities. Coming to his quarterback’s defense, Fisher put his integrity on the line by stating there was no victim because there was no crime committed. Days later Winston was connected to an autograph investigation opened by the school. The New York Times also published an investigative and detailed report examining the handling of alleged incidents by the local police and the influence the football program can have. There is a lot going on off the field for Florida State, some of which could eventually have an impact on the field under some scenarios.
But Fisher is just focusing on Notre Dame this week. Just ask him.