THE BOWLS DAILY REPORT : SUGAR / FLORIDA vs. FLORIDA STATE, Monday : Seminoles’ Brooks Is Glad He Stayed


No regrets, Florida State linebacker Derrick Brooks said. Staying in school and putting off the NFL last season was the right thing to do. The degree was more important.

He got it, with a 3.2 grade-point average, and will receive $35,000 in fellowship money for a master’s degree and law school. Bring on the NFL.

He’s a symbol of what happened in Tallahassee in what is now known as the Foot Locker Incident.


“Derrick Brooks probably paid a higher price than anybody else here,” Coach Bobby Bowden said. “He lost two games, and that probably kept him from winning postseason awards that he might have won otherwise. That was a big price for a couple of shirts and a shrimp dinner.”

Brooks has twice been a finalist for the Butkus Award, given to the nation’s best linebacker, but he is the only two-time finalist not to win it.

He sat out the Seminoles’ first two games, against Virginia and Maryland, as punishment after a shopping spree in which an agent took several players to a Tallahassee sporting-goods store. Brooks did not go along, but was given two shirts by his roommate and a dinner by an agent.


Florida and Florida State’s players are handling New Orleans differently this week. The Seminoles got their per-diem money, $480, in a lump sum and many have headed for the casinos. The Gators have had money meted out periodically, much like an allowance, and the casinos are off-limits, even though one, the Flamingo, is in the team hotel.