Originally created 11/27/01

Florida State AD says Spurrier should be 'spanked'



TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida coach Steve Spurrier should be sanctioned by the American Football Coaches Association for accusing Florida State coach Bobby Bowden of encouraging dirty play, the Seminoles' athletic director said Monday.

"It would probably be good if somebody just spanked him and put him to bed and hope he wakes up all grown up," athletic director David Hart Jr. said. "I believe strongly in the respect factor. I believe in professional behavior and ethical behavior."

Spurrier's team was practicing Monday night and he could not immediately be reached for comment. Spurrier sparked the latest feud between him and the Seminoles when he said last week that Florida State tackle Darnell Dockett intentionally tried to injure two Gators during Florida's 37-13 victory Nov. 17.

Tailback Earnest Graham accused Dockett of twisting his knee in a pileup, causing an injury that will keep him out 3-to-5 weeks. Graham says he may sue.

Spurrier also said the game tape showed Dockett tried to stomp on quarterback Rex Grossman's hand as the Florida quarterback was tackled out of bounds.

"Anytime a coach has a player who he thinks has been intentionally hurt by another player, if he doesn't stand up and fight for the player, he's a coward," Spurrier said Sunday.

Dockett has denied trying to hurt either player. Hart said Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford and the league's supervisor of officials reviewed game tapes and cleared Dockett of wrongdoing.

Earlier Monday, Hart and Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley spoke about Spurrier's accusations. Hart, however, would not share details of that discussion.

He also spoke with Grant Teaff, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, about what he called a lack of ethical conduct by Spurrier. He would not discuss that conversation, either.

Hart said he took exception to Spurrier failing to take his concerns through normal channels.

"We have done our due diligence despite the very poor manner this was handled by the football coach in Gainesville," Hart said. "You don't attack people's integrity. We're not going to put a player on the field who isn't playing fair."

Hart suggested Spurrier doesn't like playing Florida State late in the season and may not want to play the Seminoles at all.

"I can't speak to any hidden agendas," Hart said, adding the schools have three years remaining on a contract that calls for the game to be played on the Saturday before or after Thanksgiving, depending on television contracts.

Hart also said he wouldn't tolerate Florida State coaches publicly criticizing opposing schools.

"If the roles were reversed, Bobby would not coach Saturday" against Georgia Tech, Hart said.

This is not the first time Spurrier has accused Florida State of dirty play.

After Florida State's 24-21 victory in 1996, Spurrier accused the Seminoles of a number of late hits on Gator quarterback Danny Wuerffel. It was the central topic during the week leading into the national championship game at the Sugar Bowl where Florida avenged its lone loss that season with a 52-20 victory over the Seminoles.

Spurrier was later sanctioned by the American Football Coaches Association for not following its code of ethics, Hart said Monday.

Hart and Bowden did their best to avoid being drug into the controversy in 1996, but the athletic director said Monday he couldn't let it go by again without defending his coach and university.

"Bobby Bowden represents integrity and class," Hart said. "It was a very unfair, unfounded attack."