With the start of fall camp just days away, Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher added a lot more intrigue to the proceedings Wednesday when he announced senior cornerback Greg Reid had been dismissed due to a violation of team rules.
Florida State held a team meeting Wednesday morning in which players were informed of Fisher's decision to part ways with Reid, who has endured several off-field incidents during his time in Tallahassee. With Fisher banning players from using Twitter, some took to Facebook to express their thoughts.
The severity of the latest round of charges wouldn't have required so much as a suspension on its own. But Florida State clearly was ready to move on from the distraction.
Reid won't face a court date until Sept. 5, and Fisher has spent the past few weeks suggesting he was still collecting information about the incident, but Wednesday's decision underscored the notion that he wasn't interested in the final verdict.
The dismissal comes as something of a surprise given Reid's role and tenure, but Fisher and other veterans have made it clear that this year's hopes for a conference championship will not be derailed by off-field distractions.
That didn't stop several members of the Seminoles from weighing in on Facebook to convey their concerns.
"(Reid is a) HUGEEEE PIECE THAT WOULD BE MISSED!" defensive tackle Jacobbi McDaniel wrote. "(He's) like another brother to me but these last couple weeks what I have seen. He is a changed man n I promise ya that. Seen it with my own eyes."
Running back James Wilder Jr., who spent more than a week in jail this summer after violating his probation following an arrest in February, offered similar support for Reid.
"I kno Wat it feel like to feel alone n have backs turned on ya," Wilder wrote on Facebook. "(Reid,) everybody kno u did a lot for the university n team...u played a big role in my college career."
The sentiments on Facebook might underscore potential reasons for Reid's dismissal, however.
When several younger players created a stir by posting controversial comments on Twitter this offseason, Fisher was prompted to enact the ban on the use of the social networking service altogether. Several of the team’s seniors have insisted that maturity will be a deciding factor in how this season unfolds.
Ironically, that's the same message Reid offered this spring.
"I am motivated," Reid said at the conclusion of spring practice. "It is my last time around here at Florida State and I think it is a little bit emotional, you know, it is hard to take days off and that is what I have on my shoulders. I wish it wasn't so late, you know, waiting on my senior year to do this, but it is my senior year and I am ready for whatever."
Added teammate Terrence Brooks: "(Reid) has definitely matured a lot. He is one of the leaders on this team, so it is good."
But Reid’s sentiments lasted only a few months.