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McPherson Blasts FSU for Dismissal

November 27, 2002

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) _ Quarterback Adrian McPherson blasted Florida State coaches Tuesday, one day after he was kicked off the football team amid reports that police planned to question him in the theft and forgery of a blank check.

McPherson said the staff failed to gather all the facts before hastily dismissing him after a 17-7 loss Saturday at North Carolina State.

``I think they should have found out everything that went on before they kicked me off the team,″ McPherson said.

Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, unaware of McPherson’s news conference, said following practice in Tallahassee he was willing to re-evaluate the 19-year-old sophomore’s status after ``the thing has settled down.″

But McPherson said he never wants to play for the Seminoles again.

``How could I go on the field and give my all for someone who turned their back on me?″ he asked.

McPherson’s attorney, Grady C. Irvin Jr., said McPherson wanted to dispel rumors that he bet on football games and owed gambling debts. Irwin said the player has never bet on football games, college or pro.

McPherson did admit involvement in the theft of a blank check from a Tallahassee business last week but did not cash it and never received any money from it. He has not been charged with any crimes.

Another man, Melvin Capers Jr., who McPherson described as a friend from high school, was arrested Monday and charged with passing the check, which police said was stolen from R&R Truck Rental and cashed for $3,500.

Capers has been released from Leon County Jail on bail.

Irvin said McPherson saw the check for the last time in a trash can at Capers’ home.

Dale Acosta, the owner of R&R Truck Rental, told The Tallahassee Democrat for its Wednesday editions that McPherson visited his store on Nov. 18 to ask about a set of custom wheels which were not listed in any of the store’s catalogs.

Acosta said he stepped out of his office to check on the wheels, leaving McPherson alone in the room. Later, Acosta noticed a check had been torn out of his checkbook.

Acosta said the only other people with access to his office on Nov. 18 were store employees.

On Friday, McPherson first went to coach Odell Haggins, then quarterbacks coach Daryl Dickey to tell them about the situation. After he met with Bowden, McPherson was told by Dickey not to worry about it and get ready for the game against the Wolfpack.

``It left Adrian McPherson with the impression that the school was going to handle it,″ Irvin said.

On Sunday, McPherson was questioned again by coaches and school officials, including athletic director Dave Hart, who also asked him about gambling allegations. Bowden dismissed him Monday after a meeting with the player and his parents, telling the team later that McPherson had lied about the incident.

``We are looking into whether Mr. Hart ever said to Adrian McPherson that he personally felt that Adrian had gambled and that he had cashed a check to pay a gambling debt,″ Irvin said.

Irvin said McPherson and his parents planned to go to Tallahassee police headquarters Wednesday and stay there until police decide whether to charge him.

``He will wait there no matter how long it takes,″ Irvin said.

McPherson, who is on scholarship at FSU through the remainder of the semester, said he didn’t know yet what he will do about transferring to another school.

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