Florida State wide receiver Warren Thompson alleged on Twitter that first-year coach Mike Norvell and the coaches have lied to players multiple times about the health and well-being of members of the athletic department during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thompson posted a letter via his Twitter account detailing what he thinks is a massive lack of leadership from Norvell's staff.
"Being a student-athlete is difficult during this time and the proper leadership (at Florida State) regarding these problems doesn't exist," Thompson wrote. "During this entire week of camp, I have been lied to multiple times about the conditions of other players' health as well as mine. It has been shown to myself and the rest, that our leadership is based off an "I" mentality with them only worried about their own future rather than their own athletes. I have been ridiculed about speaking up regarding this issue and it needs to be addressed for myself to safely continue the season."
Thompson further detailed that, while he wishes to stay with the program, his health is more important.
"I want to play for Florida State University and have a great season for myself and our supporters," he wrote. "The lies from our leaders have backed myself into a corner, putting my overall well being in jeopardy. The neglect to respond to this issue is very concerning, and (this is) why I've drawn attention to it. I've put 1,000% into this team and my own craft. I've got too much to prove to the world, and this problem is growing greater potentially preventing that from happening because I've spoken up!"
Thompson's tweet was shared by several other Seminoles players, including wide receiver DJ Matthews and Tamorrion Terry. Matthews tweeted on Wednesday that he tested positive for COVID-19 but later deleted the tweet according to 247Sports. Multiple wide receivers are currently quarantining according to the report.
However, some players came to the defense of Norvell.
Redshirt sophomore defensive back Jaiden Lars-Woodbey was asked about the claims by reporters Thursday morning.
Jaiden Lars-Woodbey now speaking. Says he feels the staff and trainers have done a "fantastic" job and are doing everything in their power to protect and care for the players.— Noles247.com (@Noles247) August 13, 2020
More on Noles247:https://t.co/AuDwnwPsLR
Junior defensive back Asante Samuel Jr. tweeted his support of the way the COVID-19 protocols have been handled.
I feel safe coming to practice everyday because of the protocols FSU has in place !!!— ASANTE SAMUEL Ⓜ️ (@godschild3_) August 13, 2020
Norvell commented on the situation at the team's media availability Thursday morning.
Norvell reiterates they're working through the policies and procedures, says he's been transparent with every player and the whole team— Matt Baker (@MBakerTBTimes) August 13, 2020
This isn't the first time this offseason that Norvell has got into hot water with some of his players. Star defensive lineman Marvin Willson said earlier this summer than Norvell lied when he said that he had one-on-one conversations with each of his players following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Wilson said that the players will boycott offseason workouts until the situation was addressed. The two parties worked things out and moved forward with the offseason.
This isn't the first time this offseason that players have alleged that proper testing protocols weren't being used. Colorado State players and staffers said that first-year Rams coach Steve Addazio and his staff tried to hide results of COVID-19 testing results prior to the cancellation of the Mountain West fall football season.