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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 14, 1999)
Grand theft charge may cost FSU receiver grand prize
(AP) - Hours before Florida State
risked its No. 1 ranking against Miami,
a car pulled out of the parking lot of a
Tallahassee hotel with a message paint
ed on the rear window:
“Hilfiger or Heisman? U make the
Less than a week ago, the call was
simple: Peter Warrick, the Seminoles’
sensational wide receiver, was the clear
favorite to win the Heisman Trophy,
college football’s grandest individual
The choice is not so easy anymore.
Warrick was suspended indefinitely
last week following his arrest for felony
theft - underpaying for designer
clothes at a Tallahassee department
store. He missed Florida State’s 31-21
win over Miami arid is expected to sit
out Saturday’s game against Wake
And as he waits for his lawyer to
sort out his legal mess, Warrick’s
Heisman chances have all but slipped
A sampling of several dozen
Heisman voters nationwide indicate
Warrick has little or no chance to win
the award presented by New York’s
Downtown Athletic Club on Dec. 11.
“Peter Warrick is out of it, in my
mind,” voter Steve Kirk of the
Birmingham News said. “And not
because of the moral issues. He missed
a big game, and there’s only 11 of them.
You can’t miss a big game.”
Ron Bracken, sports editor of the
Centre (Pa.) Daily Times, said he
would have a tough time voting for
Warrick because, “you want that guy
standing up there getting that trophy to
be somebody that can be looked up at
and admired and a youngster can say, ‘I
want to be like him.’”
Warrick may be the nation’s best
player whether he misses one, two or
more games, but Heisman voter Bruce
Hooley of The (Cleveland) Plain
Dealer adds, “I also think the Heisman
stands for something more than what
he stood for at Dillard’s.”
on the 50 yard line
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Texas vs. Nebraska
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By winning the Heisman, a player
is guaranteed lifelong recognition by
football fans everywhere. Now,
Warrick is likely to be remembered as
the first player to lose it because of his
alleged misadventures in a mall.
With Warrick on the sideline, the
leading Heisman contender looks to be
Georgia Tech’s Joe Hamilton, the
nation’s top-rated passer with 1,347
yards and 12 touchdowns. He has also
run for 321 yards and six touchdowns
for the eighth-ranked Yellow Jackets,
whose only loss came against Warrick
and the Seminoles.
Also moving up on voters’ ballots is
Alabama’s Shaun Alexander, who aver
ages 203.6 all-purpose yards - second
in the nation - and has 14 touchdowns.
Others still being considered by the 921
Heisman voters are Purdue quarter
back Drew Brees, Wisconsin running
back Ron Dayne and Warrick’s team
mate, quarterback Chris Weinke.
“Everyone seems to think Warrick
being out has automatically given the
award to Joe Hamilton,” Heisman voter
Andrew Bagnato of The Chicago
Tribune said, “but I don’t think that’s a
given just yet.”
Vinny Testaverde, the 1986
Heisman winner from Miami now with
the New York Jets, has reserved judg
ment on Warrick, but says, “if it’s true,
Peter Warrick is out of it, in my mind. He
missed a big game, and there's only 11 of
them. You can't miss a big game."
Heisman Trophy voter
I’m sure it will hurt him, but if it’s not
true, he’s right up there.”
Warrick may be the first to lose the
Heisman because of a felony theft
charge - Florida State policy calls for
an automatic suspension if an athlete is
charged with a felony - but at least one
player has won the award without play
ing every game.
In 1957, Texas A&M’s John David
Crow missed three games with an
injury and won by playing in just seven
games. He ran for 562 yards and six
touchdowns, threw for five scores,
caught two touchdown passes and had
“I don’t think Warrick’s out of it,
but he’s got to come back and miss only
two games.” Tony Barnhart of the
Atlanta Journal-Constitution said. “I
think that’s the magic number. The fact
that he’s apologized, and if he plays
well, I think enough Heisman voters
will give him a second chance.”
Says Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha
World-Herald: “I’ve suspended
Warrick from my ballot.”
So has Bob Smizik of the
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “I will not
vote for Peter Warrick, even if he is
cleared of criminal charges and returns
to play. I thought what they did last
week by putting him on TV having him
address the team and be on the side
lines, they were trying to make a
celebrity of him, and I thought it was an
By Heisman rules, Warrick
remains a candidate, but William J.
Dockery, president of the award, said
the receiver would become ineligible if
convicted of a felony. Should he win
the Heisman and then be convicted, the
award can be taken away.
PSU players quiet this week
(U-WIRE) UNIVERSITY PARK,
Pa. - Going into its game this week
against Ohio State, the Penn State foot
ball team has enough to worry about
on the field. To help his squad deal
with things off the field, Nittany Lions
Coach Joe Patemo has cut off contact
between players and the media.
“I think they need a little time to
themselves,” he said Tuesday at his
weekly press conference. “This thing
has gotten a little ridiculous with the
amount of time they’ve had to give up
Patemo said his players have com
plained to him in previous weeks that,
with the number of interviews they
have had to do, keeping up with
schoolwork and practices has been dif
When asked if some of the major
networks, in particular ESPN, ABC
and Sports Illustrated, would be able to
interview players, Paterno said all
interviews would need to be cleared
“You’d be amazed at how much
harassment some of them get,” Paterno
said. “Even now, it’s to the point where,
when I leave practice, there are people
outside with helmets to be signed. You
can’t move, and they’re going through
the same kind of things.”
During the past few weeks, Penn
State players have been victims of
numerous injuries. This week, howev
er, Paterno said, he is optimistic about
his team’s health.
“Unless something happens during
the week, we’ll be in the best shape all
year since the start of the season,” he
Tailback Cordell Mitchell and
wideout Corey Jones look to return to
action. Despite their experience,
Paterno didn’t want to play them
against Iowa, fearing another injury.
Now that they’re 100 percent, he said,
they would be pushed in practice as
hard as they have been all season.
Not everyone was aware of
Paterno’s media embargo. Senior hero
Derek Fox, who originates from
Canton, Ohio, has been, spending the
week acquiring tickets for family and
friends. He was clueless as to why
Paterno has barred the media from
speaking to his teammates.
The stalemate has had little effect
on some players.
“I never get many calls anyway,”
Lions offensive tackle John Blick said
with a smile, “so it’s no big deal to me.”
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