Florida State football coach Jimbo Fisher said this week’s hearing into sexual assault allegations against Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston has not been distracting to the team as it prepares for Saturday’s ACC championship game against Georgia Tech at Bank of America Stadium.
“No, it’s not a distraction at all,” Fisher said Friday. “We’ve dealt with (distractions) very well and our team has handled them very well. I think everything in time will work itself out.”
The hearing came two years after a female student accused Winston of sexually assaulting her. The hearing at Florida State, which lasted two days, could have a bearing on Winston’s future at the university. It ended with no conclusion or timetable on when the matter might be decided.
Fisher said he expected Winston to be enrolled in school in January, when Florida State will likely play in a postseason bowl.
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• Georgia Tech will be without leading receiver DeAndre Smelter, who tore his ACL against Georgia last week.
“(Smelter) is one of the better players on our team,” said Yellow Jackets coach Paul Johnson. “He’s a young man who I think certainly has next-level ability. But we’re not going to change what we do.”
• Johnson is back in his home state. The Newland native attended Avery County High and graduated from Western Carolina in 1979. He earned his master’s degree in heath and physical education at Appalachian State and began his coaching career as an assistant back at Avery County. His first college job was Lees-McRae, where he was offensive coordinator from 1981 to 1982.
• The ACC recognized its football legends Friday night at the Charlotte Convention Center: Chris Snee, Boston College; Donnell Woolford, Clemson (and Charlotte resident); Chris Castor, Duke; Derrick Brooks, Florida State; John Davis, Georgia Tech; Frank Minnifield, Louisville; Darrin Smith, Miami; Greg Ellis, North Carolina; Jesse Campbell, N.C. State; Hugh Green, Pittsburgh; Art Monk, Syracuse; George Welsh, Virginia; Jack Grove, Virginia Tech; Alan White, Wake Forest.
• Florida State tight end Nick O’Leary is the grandson of golf legend Jack Nicklaus. What do they have in common? “Competitiveness,” said Fisher. “They’re extremely competitive.”
• Rain is a possibility Saturday night. Johnson was asked if he would make any kind of adjustments if the weather turns wet.
“I’d probably wear a raincoat,” he deadpanned.
• Georgia Tech, which will likely play in the Orange Bowl, will play in the postseason for the 18th consecutive season, the second-longest active streak in the nation ... Fisher’s 85.1 winning percentage is the highest in ACC history … The last time Georgia Tech was shut was Oct. 18, 1997 – 223 games ago. The opponent? Florida State in a 38-0 loss.