Florida State athletic director, FSU football players react to Mike Norvell statement

Mike Norvell Introduction Press Conference
Tomahawk Nation


Head coach Mike Norvell has issued a statement via his Twitter. Norvell expresses his pride for Marvin Wilson and regret of his word choice in an interview with The Athletic:

Here’s the content of the original text message to the players, as well:

“Good evening (name) I wanted to shoot you a short message sorry I can’t send video cause I’m driving. I wanted to let you know that Maria and I are praying for every coach & player as well as for our country. For all those that have been victims of hateful actions, discrimination, prejudice and disrespect we lift them up in our thoughts and seek justice. We live in an unfair and volatile world but I want you to know that you are loved & counted on to make a difference for our country’s future. I know there is anger and strong feelings that come with each day and every experience but please know better days are ahead because of YOU. Be safe and please always know we are here for you as coaches and staff if you ever need to talk. You have a tremendous platform as member of our Nole Family. Let’s be different and let our actions be heard in Service, Sacrifice, and Respect. Thank you for opportunity to coach you and stand by your side can’t wait to see you tomorrow night in zoom meeting!”

Marvin Wilson has issued a statement via his Instagram, explaining his motivations behind calling out Norvell’s statement, addressing what actions can be taken to make things better and why it’s so much bigger than just Florida State football, given the situations he’s endured and seen around Tallahassee:

Across the sports world, coaches and athletes have offered their opinions on the current civil movement spreading across the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death, including the Florida State Seminoles’ women’s basketball team.

Earlier this week, The Athletic beat writer Tashan Reed reported that Florida State Seminoles head coach Mike Norvell told him the following:

The quote came after a previous one issued by Norvell, in addition to passionate ones from defensive line coach Odell Haggins and linebackers coach Chris Marve:

Early Thursday morning (or late Wednesday night, depending on your perspective), defensive tackle and projected first round pick Marvin Wilson took issue with the statement, claiming that Norvell didn’t have individual conversations with his players.

Several other Florida State players seemingly tweeted in reaction to Wilson’s post:

Athletic director David Coburn spoke about the incident during today’s Board of Trustee’s meeting, saying the team met and that he believes its “moving on.”

Some of his words today on the call, via The Osceola:

“They were open and candid with all of us. They are angry, they are hurt, they are frustrated. And some of them are just scared. They had a number of good ideas about what we can do in athletics.

“I will tell you that they challenged me a little bit about speaking out on their behalf. They asked if I was concerned about offending rich, powerful boosters and supporters. I thought about that and I thought about you as a group and I told them no. …

“As all of you know, I’m more of a listener than a speaker. Frankly I’d rather have a root canal than make a speech. But I want to talk to you all for a few minutes on their behalf. These student-athletes are important. They are important to me and they are important to you. They are why we do what we do. They are important because they represent our future as well as the current situation. Athletics is more than a mirror in which we see a reflection of society, the good and the bad. It’s also the lens through which we see society as it could and should. Athletics is where we see young men and women of all races and nationality competing with each other, cooperating with each other. Helping each other out. Screaming at each other one minute, leaping into each other’s arms in sheer joy the next.

You and I see all of these things in athletics, but more importantly our children and our grandchildren see them. And that changes their perception of how society could and should do.

“Burning buildings, breaking windows, destroying property, those things don’t change human hearts, they harden them. But when Travis Rudolph went in to that school cafeteria and sat down with that little boy, that changed human hearts. Our student athletes know that it can be done and they know how to do it.

“What has happened in the last few days has change America, I think, forever. We’re all going to have to become comfortable with the uncomfortable. When that happens here and when student-athletes speak up, and they are going to speak up all over America, we are going to see and hear things from athletes that will make all of us uncomfortable and when it happens here at Florida State, I ask that you not be upset. That you be understanding. That you not be angry, but that you be supportive. These student-athletes are determined to help change things. And we in the Florida State administration and athletics, our coaches, our staff, everyone, are determined to help them and to help them make really sustainable change happen because this absolutely has to stop.”

Linebacker Kevon Glenn, who tweeted support of Marvin Wilson last night seems 100% on board with the FSU coaching staff:

Amari Gainer and Asante Samuel, Jr. seem to be all smiles while seemingly getting ready for workouts:

Running back transfer Jashaun Corbin weighs in:

Freshman defensive back Demorie Tate not mincing words:

Meanwhile, here’s what we’ve seen from Wilson’s linemate, Cory Durden:

This from recent Mississippi State transfer Jarrian Jones:


Yikes. <img src="//fonts.voxmedia.com/emoji/unicode/1f62c.png" alt=":grimacing:" class="emoji">

man its always something with us the last 4 years

Reed said they were conversations

Norvell said they were a back and forth. The distinction might actually matter here. But not much.

He certainly needs to talk with them all now. As in right now.

Conversations versus back and forth is a good point,mgl.

Let’s see the original"text-blast", and if any/each player responded. Seems to me awfully out of character for CMN to just come up with a flat out lie.

Coach needs to explain, and explain quickly. Hopefully HeadHuncho and co. will accept the explanation and all move on.

Looks like it wasn’t a group message, but the same message addressed to each individual player.

I don’t think it is known if any player had back and forth communication with CMN

Not an FSU fan

But how is what Norvell said even a lie? Even if the same message was sent to every player, it takes time to send the same message to every player individually—rather than a group text. Any player wanting to respond could do so 1 on 1.

And if every player had a chance to go back and forth, I am suspect some did. In addition to other coaches reaching out, what is the problem?

It takes no more time than one text if you already have a group set up, which it would make sense for the coach to have for the team.

and if you are on a droid you can set it so that only the sender gets the replies.

He would still have to do them individually

It looks like he puts the specific players name in the text. Unless there are ways that a text app can do that for you?

pretty sure you can set up an app to embed the addressee's first name in the group email bcc'ed to make it more personable.

Sounds like a job for a GA

Damn and when I thought it was falling apart at the seams in Clemson..this

I thought Coach was a smart dude. You can’t lie to these players or to the media about these players if you want their respect. WE SUCK AGAIN!!

Not a good look.

Ugh – not happy with how this played out. Hopefully he can do something about it soon enough.

man what a weird & dumb thing for norvell to lie about, we are in trouble

Well, it was fun while it lasted.

Wow. Unreal.

First time poster, long time lurker but…Norvell’s supposed to be a coach- charged with being a leader of men, entrusted with shaping young men. It’s one thing to send a mass text- a whole another thing to apparently lie and say he sat and talked to this young men. What’s happening in America right now is bigger than football, and it resonates deeply with this football team.

I sincerely hope that this isn’t what it looks like. If not, no harm no foul. If it is, Norvell better find a way to explain himself to this locker room.


He didn’t say he sat and talked with anyone. Read his quote.


He said he went back and forth over the weekend- perhaps he meant via text or another medium. Players are crying foul.

Like I said, either this isn’t what it looks like, or this is an unnecessary lie.

Unnecessary lie

I would think as a seemingly good recruiter that he would be more careful with his statement. Texting back and forth is considered a conversation, especially by the players’ generation.

I’m hoping it was a misquote.

doesnt appear to be a misquote, norvell just made a huge unforced error


Since he has it on tape how about sharing it so we can put the alleged comment in context? Get it in the open and deal with what sounds like a misunderstanding or un-artful phrasing to me.

Norvell may well have been referring to the team-wide text he sent out when he said that he "went back and forth" with his players. As in they could have responded and participated in the conversation if they chose to, just as in a face to face conversation or team meeting.

the problem is he said "i went back & forth individually with each player over the weekend" when it is now clear he did not

This is the issue

I think he would have been safe if he had said some of the players rather than say every player. I don’t know I hope he has a good explanation.

This was a verbal quote, and my first instinct was he may have meant "personally" and casually said "individually."

(I’m hoping.) He actually said "every player" not "each player." Either way, he’ll have to clear it up with them and no one parses language like this when they smell blood in the water, unless it helps fuel the discontent. But "personally" could mean he was texting everyone himself as a group. Not strong, but accurate. "Individually" sure seems to mean 1-on-1 with players.

I am not sure how he could have, either.

FSU must have around 100 or more players on the roster. How do you have a back and forth conversation over a weekend with over 100 people? It doesn’t seem possible.


Oh well, so much for all the excitement of a new coach. Just what we needed more drama surrounding FSU football.

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