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Court might determine the future of FSU running back Dalvin Cook

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Will the absence of a video save Dalvin Cook? Or has Cook carried the ball for the final time at FSU?

It may be up to the court to decide.

Not long ago, it seemed that Cook, the sophomore running back from Miami, was running toward stardom. He was the MVP of the ACC title game, and he gained more than 1,000 yards in his freshman season. Now that quarterback Jameis Winston has gone on the NFL, it seemed that Seminoles offense would be built around Cook.

But Cook has been suspended for alledgedly striking a woman several times outside a Tallahassee bar, and he is suspended from the team. Cook’s attorney has said that his client did not punch anyone and that the witnesses are wrong. Attorney Ricky Patel suggested the charges against his client are the result of media pressure.

Fisher, however, has been busy defending the program since Cook and freshman quarterback De’Andre Johnson were accused in seperate incidents of striking women. There was a video of Johnson, who has since been dismissed from the team.

State attorney Willie Meggs has called the woman and her witness “very credible.”

Patel, however, has said that witnesses gave three versions of what happened and that one of the witnesses was not present at the scene.

“Just like it is anywhere else in the country, you as the head coach take responsibility and you continue to educate,” Fisher told ESPN. “You hope they don’t make mistakes, and when they do you punish and adjust and continue to educate.”

Fisher did not address the Cook situation, but stressed he had a “zero tolerance” when it came to violence toward women. That would seem to indicate that if Cook is found guilty, Fisher would have zero tolerance toward him, too. The public perception would be harsh if Cook were to be found guilty.

The court date is Sept. 2, three days before FSU’s opener.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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