January 22, 2000 - by
Seminoles Feted By Fans

Jan. 22, 2000

By DAVID MARK
Associated Press Writer

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Florida State’s Doak Campbell Stadium Saturday had
all the trappings of a high-stakes college football game: a sea of fans dressed
in school colors garnet and gold, the marching band and cheerleaders.

Only this time, the outcome of the event was preordained.

About 25,000 fans, the governor and top state officials turned out to fete
the national champion Seminoles, who beat Virginia Tech 46-29 in the Sugar Bowl
Jan. 4.

“Without you, we wouldn’t have won,” quarterback Chris Weinke told the
fans. “To be a part of this team is very special.”

The day marked a triumphant end to what had at times been a trying season.

In October, star wide receiver Peter Warrick was arrested after a clerk
allowed him and another player, Laveranues Coles, to pay $21.40 for $412.38
worth of designer clothes. Warrick was suspended two games and reinstated after
pleading guilty to a misdemeanor. Coles was kicked off the team.

Several other players also had run-ins with the law during the season,
ranging from marijuana possession to drunk driving.

State House Speaker John Thrasher made reference to the troubles.

“Politics and athletics have something in common,” said Thrasher, who
earned his undergraduate and law degrees at Florida State. “Every now and
then, you have some adversity. You overcame adversity with dignity and
courage.”

Gov. Jeb Bush did not speak, but he wore a garnet and gold Florida State
windbreaker jacket, and was seen doing a quick “tomahawk chop,” along with
much of the crowd.

Coach Bobby Bowden, whose undefeated team was the first to stay at the top
of The Associated Press poll all season, said the players showed character by
repeatedly rallying in the final minutes of games.

“It’s not a weakness to be behind,” he said. “It’s one of the great
experiences you can learn in life, to be behind, and come back to go ahead.”

Related Articles