No. 3 Florida State turns to practice field
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher gave the No. 3 Seminoles a week away from football to decompress before the College Football Playoffs.
While the players used much of last week to take exams and focus on schoolwork, Fisher said it was a good break from the grind of the season that included six second-half comebacks.
''The pressures of winning and being a champion, sometimes you have to get away from it,'' Fisher said. ''A fresh mind goes a long way.''
Florida State (13-0) returned to the practice field Sunday for the first time since winning the ACC title Dec. 6 with a 37-35 victory over Georgia Tech. The Seminoles did welcome back tailback Karlos Williams, who missed the Georgia Tech game with a concussion.
''They'll be fine,'' Fisher said. ''If we had to play a game next Saturday, they would be able to play. I'm making sure they are healed fully before we get them on the field.''
Florida State will spend the next week practicing in Tallahassee before flying to Los Angeles on Dec. 26 in preparation for their semifinal game against No. 2 Oregon (12-1) in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1.
Fisher spent most of last week on the recruiting trail and attended the college football awards ceremony in Orlando on Thursday. But he has managed to take time to look at film of the Ducks and praised Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Marcus Mariota.
''He's very well-deserving,'' Fisher said. ''He had a tremendous year. Team had a tremendous year.''
The Florida State-Oregon game will be a matchup of Heisman winners Mariota and Florida State's Jameis Winston, the 2013 winner.
Winston, however, is still awaiting the results of his two-day code of conduct hearing, which wrapped up on Dec. 3. A school official had previously stated that a decision could occur within 10 days from the hearing's conclusion but there is no definitive timetable on when the case will be resolved.
The potential ramifications for Winston range from a reprimand to expulsion from school. Winston is a redshirt sophomore and he is eligible to declare for the NFL draft after the conclusion of the season.
Winston's hearing, which was held approximately two years after a female student said Winston sexually assaulted her in December 2012, was held to determine whether Winston violated any or all of four sections of the code of conduct - two for sexual misconduct and two for endangerment.
John Clune, an attorney representing the woman at the closed hearing, did predict that the former Florida State Supreme Court justice presiding over the proceedings will announce his decision by the end of the year. Justice Major Harding has given both sides up to five days to submit a proposed order on what they think the outcome should be, Clune said. Harding will use those briefs as the basis for his decision, which is supposed to come within 10 class days after the hearing ends.
Both parties have an opportunity to request an appeal within five days of the initial hearing decision.