Update, June 30: The Associated Press reports De’Andre Johnson was officially charged with misdemeanor battery, and Tallahassee Police issued a warrant for his arrest. The next step is how this impacts his indefinite suspension. Will it become dismissal from the program?
ESPN.com’s Mark Schlabach first reported Thursday that Florida State freshman quarterback De’Andre Johnson was suspended indefinitely pending investigation that he hit a woman while at a Tallahassee bar Wednesday.
The nature of Johnson’s suspension is the catch-all “violation of athletic department policy,” which probably covers both the alleged assault and the underage quarterback patronizing and a bar. Either way, head coach Jimbo Fisher is in a position where he’ll be called on to act quickly and decisively.
Bob Ferrante, who covers Florida State football for 247Sports.com, noted the initial holes in Tallahassee Police’s report that need to be filled before adequate consequences can be rendered.
TPD incident report is almost completely redacted. Not even a name for Johnson. And his age is listed as between 22 and 23.
— Bob Ferrante (@BobFerrante) June 25, 2015
Yet, at the same time, Tallahassee Police’s inaction investigating the sexual assault allegations against 2013 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jameis Winston fueled a firestorm around the Seminoles football program that hasn’t yet tapered, despite Winston’s departure for the NFL this spring.
Outside The Lines conducted an investigation into arrest records for a number of college football and men’s basketball programs since 2009, and the subsequent charges levied against players by their local municipalities. ESPN’s report was damning for Florida State given the lingering hostility over how the Winston case was handled.
Though De’Andre Johnson was unlikely to see the field in 2015, playing behind veteran Seminole Sean Maguire and incoming Notre Dame transfer Everett Golson, the elite, dual-threat prospect set the wheels in motion to be the future of the Florida State offense with his play in spring ball.
Fisher described De’Andre Johnson as “[doing] a lot of things very instinctively,” adding, “I think that guy’s gonna be a really good player,” per the Orlando Sentinel.
Johnson’s involvement and quick suspension, in some ways, mirror Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon a year ago. A blue-chip prospect heading into his first season with the Sooners, Mixon was caught on surveillance video punching a coed in a Norman restaurant, which left her with four broken bones in her face. Mixon’s reinstatement for the 2015 season raised eyebrows.
Updated version corrects spelling of Maguire’s name from McGuire.