Preston Parker: Demise of Florida State Seminoles Continues

Tim PollockSenior Writer IApril 24, 2008

When Steve Spurrier was racking up SEC titles at Florida, the banter between the Head Ball Coach and Bobby Bowden was priceless. Spurrier’s shots were a bit more direct and harsh, while Saint Bobby would rely more on subtlety and the Southern “dab-nabbit” role.

It was tit-for-tat, and we all loved it. 

Two coaches of hated rivals—drastically different in style and approach—running an on and off the field feud all season until the end-of-the-year game of bragging rights would settle the score. 

But times change. 

While Spurrier’s and Bowden’s teams from the past would typically be competing for a national title, both coaches are now struggling to compete even in their conference races.

Spurrier’s challenge at tradition-poor South Carolina is certainly an uphill battle, but his team has taken steps each year toward being competitive each week in the tough SEC.  This upcoming season looks to have promise.    

Meanwhile, it appears that while Bowden’s team was headed in the right direction after a new set of coaches came on board, but now FSU’s uphill journey just got a lot harder. 

As if last season’s test scandal and consequent suspensions weren’t ugly enough, now there's more. Preston Parker, the team’s MVP, was arrested on charges of carrying a concealed .45-caliber pistol and a small amount of marijuana.   

Marijuana is nothing new to college football, but the handgun charge is a felony. That is serious business, even at the professional level. 

FSU’s athletic department policy states that athletes charged with felonies "will not be permitted to represent FSU Athletics in game competition until such time as the charge is resolved and all court, university and athletics department conditions for reinstatement have been met."   

Allegedly, Parker admitted the gun was his. If this is the case, it likely signals Parker’s last day as a Seminole.    

Even for a program historically known for being less than strict with its troubled players, the decision seems like an easy one. Parker has to go. 

Consider that effects of the cheating scandal are still ongoing, as those players—roughly a dozen of them, including six starters—are suspended for the first three games of the upcoming season. Can Florida State’s image really survive if they don’t send Parker packing?  

And if the school isn’t willing to part ways with Parker, then someone needs to leave. 

Say, for example, Bobby Bowden.