Following the announcement last week that five-star linebacker recruit Matthew Thomas wanted out of his LOI to play football for the Florida State Seminoles, you had responses from both sides of the fence from college football fans regarding the issue. Some–mainly FSU fans– noted that Thomas had signed a legal agreement to play for the school and should honor that commitment. Others felt sorry for the young man and called for Florida State to simply release the young man and let him be happy.
Well, if you are part of that latter group, then you are not going to like what Florida State Athletic Director Randy Spetman had to say in regards to the situation at the ACC meetings today.
Speaking about Thomas and his ordeal, Spetman made it very clear that the school has no intentions to release the linebacker, unless he were to come up with a “compelling reason.” The AD said, “You’d get into a situation where if you release him, then people would be doing that every year.” Spetman added, “We would be more than happy to release someone if there were a compelling reason.”
Therein lies the problem. Thomas really hasn’t provided anything that can be classified as a compelling reason. His excuse of, “I wanted to just make my mom happy.” simply doesn’t apply to that logic.
One option for Thomas that Spetman alluded to is taking this matter through the appeals process. Well, if you know anything about any sort of appeals process, that really wouldn’t benefit this situation in the least. Presumably, by the time any sort of appeals process is complete, Thomas could have just sat out the one year in Tallahassee this upcoming season and then transferred out elsewhere.
Again, putting all kind of bias aside, you cannot fault the FSU coaching staff and administration for their thinking in this matter. Thomas signed a legally binding agreement with the consultation of adults–albeit I would only classify them as that given their age, clearly not their thought processes.
At the very least, we now know definitively where Florida State stands on the situation. Where it goes from here remains to be seen, although I can’t imagine this having any sort of happy ending.