After last year's national championship run, Jimbo Fisher's reputation was looking pretty darn good. He had reached the epitome of coaching success, having led his Seminoles to a national championship win after replacing the legendary Bobby Bowden only four years before.
But recent events have forced fans and pundits to question the coach's pedigree after a number of head scratching disciplinary moves have distracted from his success on the field.
Earlier this season, Fisher stood by the outrageous actions of Heisman winner Jameis Winston, even after the diva quarterback shouted disturbing obscenities in public and then proceed to lie about the occasion to his own university.
That led to Winston being banned for a crucial game against Clemson - despite Fisher previously saying the suspension would only last half a game - which the Seminoles eked out barely.
Now the team's leading rusher Karlos Williams is under scrutiny for an alleged case of domestic battery, which is being pursued by Tallahassee police.
- West Point recruits at Army were treated with booze and women
- Michigan bows to fan pressure over tickets
- Clint Trickett defines toughness in the modern day
And once again, Fisher is standing by his player, saying there will be no lost playing time for the running back against No. 25 Louisville.
But at what point is the coach's determination to let his players skate by without punishment simply willful ignorance?
A different approach
Take for instance the way the University of Georgia handled the far-less troublesome actions of star running back Todd Gurley, who was accused of signing signatures in order to make a couple hundred bucks on the side.
Led by head coach Mark Richt, the university did what the NCAA playbook suggests: it shut down Gurley as soon as it heard of the allegations, it conducted its own investigation and, in the meantime, it hired a lawyer for Gurley so that he wouldn't have to pay his own legal expenses.
All Gurley did was make money off his name, something at least one judge has ruled players should be allowed to do in select circumstances.
NCAA president Mark Emmert actually said UGA's response was "commendable."
Considering they self-disciplined a Heisman contender, most would probably agree.
Gurley has now sat three games. And you know what, that's fine. Richt and the university obviously thought they should take the rules seriously and now hope the NCAA will clear him to play soon.
Now look at Fisher's player management history.
He's let Winston keep playing despite allegations of sexual assault, despite shoplifting charges and despite countless Winston signatures that seem to point to a similar autograph signing scandal in the waiting.
He's also now let Williams play without a moment's hesitation.
That's despite the fact that the police department continues to investigate Williams and that the school itself said his status was under review.
Of course, it probably has nothing to do with the fact that the Louisville game is the last difficult game they will face this season before a potential playoff scenario.
The nitty gritty
Here are the details of the Williams case.
The senior from Davenport is being investigated for allegedly assaulting the girlfriend who he lives with, according to ESPN, who is pregnant and is the mother of his first child.
Law officials are also trying to interview Williams concerning a robbery that occurred in July, but the running back has already once cancelled on an agreed-upon interview and has been difficult to reach.
Decide for yourself if Williams should continue to represent his university on the field while these matters are still being investigated off of it.
Meanwhile, it looks more and more like Fisher doesn't care what trouble his players get into, as long as they can stay on the field for the next big contest.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms