Dismissed Florida State quarterback De’Andre Johnson said in an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America that he should have walked away from an incident in which he punched a woman at a bar.
Last week, the Tallahassee State Attorney’s Office released surveillance video showing Johnson punching the woman in the face at a Tallahassee, Fla., bar on June 24. According to court records, the woman felt Johnson was trying to push past her while waiting at the bar for a drink.
After she attempted to punch Johnson, he hit her on the side of her face. The woman suffered a left eye bruise, swelling on her face and a small cut on her nose.
Johnson, 19, was charged with misdemeanor battery and later was released on a $500 bond. He was originally suspended for a violation of athletic department policy, but after the video tape was released, the school announced he was being dismissed from the program. Johnson pleaded not guilty to the charge and is due in court on July 22.
Johnson was asked by GMA’s Michael Strahan why he didn’t walk away and leave the scene.
“There’s no explanation for that. I totally should have walked away,” said Johnson, who was accompanied by his mother, Pamela Jones, during the interview. “I am ashamed of that. I’m sorry. I apologize to the lady in the incident, to her family, to my family, to my mother. I know I wasn’t raised that way.
Jones said when she heard about the incident she "wanted to jump through the phone and wring his neck."
Johnson, a four-star recruit and former Mr. Football in Florida, enrolled early at Florida State in January and was expected to compete for a backup quarterback position.
He refused to reveal whether he had been drinking the night of the incident and says he deserves a second chance to continue his football career.
Florida State president John Thrasher met with the program’s football players and coaches on Monday after incidents involving Johnson and running back Dalvin Cook, who was suspended indefinitely after being arrested for allegedly punching a woman in the face outside a bar last month.
Thrasher said he told head coach Jimbo Fisher and athletic director Stan Wilcox to develop a plan to help Florida State players understand that there are consequences for poor behavior.
Thrasher said in a statement that the school must do better to address off-the-field incidents and added the “actions of a very few are tarnishing the reputation of our outstanding institution.
“They must remember that playing football for FSU is a privilege, not a right," he said. "The actions of a few have the capacity to do serious damage to the reputation of our entire university.”
- Scooby Axson