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Dr. Saturday

Florida State AD says he needs ‘compelling reason’ to release Matthew Thomas

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(USA Today Sports Images)

Florida State athletic director Randy Spetman says the school has no plans to allow star linebacker recruit Matthew Thomas out of his letter of intent.

Thomas, a senior at Booker T. Washington High School in Miami, recently said he wants out of his letter of intent because he was pressured into signing with Florida State back in February by his mother, Mariska Noyn.

“You’d get into a situation where if you release him, then people would be doing that every year,” Spetman told the Tallahassee Democrat Tuesday at the ACC spring meetings.

Spetman has a point. Future recruits could point to a decision to release Thomas as justification for doing the same thing, but how likely is that to happen and how often? Probably not a big risk of it becoming an epidemic at FSU.

Spetman also told the Democrat, "We would be more than happy to release someone if there is a compelling reason."

Isn't the fact that the young man doesn't want to be at your school, wear your uniform and play for your team compelling enough? Do you really want players on the roster who are being forced to be there?

It's not like it would ever come to that, but FSU needs to be making a better argument if it wants to convince Thomas to be a Seminole.

The reality is, schools release recruits from letters of intent all the time for assorted reasons, compelling or not. The Thomas case definitely isn't breaking new ground. It is simply receiving more attention because of the high-profile nature of the recruit, the program and potential suitors if Thomas is released.

Thomas said he wants to attend Southern Cal or Georgia instead. Both schools recruited Thomas but it's unknown if either program has a scholarship for him at this point or if either coaching staff remains interested. Considering his skill level, they would likely find a way to get him on campus if given the opportunity.

Unless FSU coaches and Spetman can somehow win over Thomas, it's probably best for them to allow him to go where he wants to go. Fighting too hard on this can create a negative image among recruits of the program and the school, too. You can't blame Spetman and FSU coaches for trying to make their case, but this looks like a losing battle.

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