Florida State has placed freshman quarterback De’Andre Johnson on indefinite suspension, head coach Jimbo Fisher confirmed early Thursday evening through a released statement. The reason for the suspension is simply described as a violation of team rules, but there are other reports making the rounds that would seem to paint a bit more of a disturbing reason for the suspension.
A report from ESPN’s Mark Sclhabach (via Twitter) says Johnson is accused of punching a woman at a bar. If that proves to be true, then Johnson has some more serious problems ahead of him before thinking about his playing time on Saturdays this fall. Johnson may have been projected to be buried on the depth chart under center with Sean Maguire and Notre Dame transfer Everett Golson most likely to battle for the starting job (and thus the backup job), but Johnson was a four-star dual-threat quarterback recruited in Florida State’s Class of 2015. He enrolled early and was able to participate in Florida State’s spring game. Johnson completed eight of 11 pass attempts for 155 yards and a pair of touchdowns. One of his highlights was a 42-yard touchdown pass to Ermon Lane down the left sideline to give his Gold team a 24-17 lead.
So, if the allegations do have any truth to them, we know an underage person was in a bar and he threw a punch at a female. Nobody here is naive enough to know football players receiving star treatment and getting access at some locations that would otherwise be impossible for others to get in is nothing new, so the idea an incoming freshman at Florida State getting into a bar is not exactly impossible to believe. However, how many times are we going to see stories about college football players assaulting women continue? Whether he did it or not — it is best to let the legal process play out for now — having your name connected to this kind of story is not one that gives Florida State (or any program facing an issue with a player hitting a woman) a good look.
For now, let us allow the legal process unfold however it may. In the meantime, Johnson will be prohibited from participating in any football activities at Florida State.