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Schoffel: FSU, Taggart must get proactive to battle negative perceptions

During his National Signing Working day press meeting last week, Florida Condition soccer mentor Willie Taggart praised the 21 prospective clients who have signed with the Seminoles for sticking with their commitments in spite of common “negativity” encompassing the program.

He alluded to that situation numerous times for the duration of his 25-minute Q&A session and even pointed out it in his opening statement.

“Considering all the negativity that was out there, for people fellas to adhere with us and want to be below, I assumed it claimed a ton about these youthful adult males and the form of fellas we want in below,” Taggart claimed. “The fellas that will be mentally tough and be able to battle as a result of points.”

As my esteemed colleague Corey Clark wrote last week, Taggart deserves credit rating for not blaming other people for the destructive perceptions about his program. The next-calendar year mentor the right way claimed it is up to him, his assistant coaches and gamers to do a thing about it. The concept to his crew was obvious: If we want folks to communicate much better about us, then we require to perform much better and mentor much better.

That is admirable. It would have been a horrible look if Taggart experienced walked up to the podium and started criticizing lovers or the media for the Seminoles’ troubles. Other coaches have long gone down that road, and it nearly by no means finishes well.

So which is the excellent news. Taggart is keeping himself and his program accountable.

Here’s the undesirable news: If the Seminoles’ overall public relations strategy is, “proving it on the field,” then this is going to be a actually extended seven months.

Florida Condition will open the 2019 period against Boise Condition In Jacksonville on Aug. 31. That is 200 days from now.

Judging by what we have noticed from the point out and nationwide media in current weeks, which is time for numerous dozen posts, listicles and slideshows portraying Florida Condition and Taggart as the gang that couldn’t shoot straight — no matter whether or not the information assist that situation.

Just look as a result of the headlines of the last week:

* An short article on Sports activities Illustrated’s web website stated Florida Condition as the major “loser’ on National Signing Working day, due mostly to the Seminoles’ inability to indicator a quarterback. SI experienced the ‘Noles stated “ahead” of courses like USC and Louisville, in spite of the actuality that Taggart’s course is ranked 15th by Rivals, whilst the Trojans’ is 19th and Louisville’s is tied for 89th. Between the “winners” stated ended up Miami and Maryland — even although the Hurricanes’ course ranked 35th and the Terrapins’ was 73rd.

Now, you can make a scenario that this was a stupid listing — and I would wholeheartedly agree with you — but the dilemma is it appeared on Sports activities Illustrated’s internet site, and even in 2019, that will carry pounds with relaxed lovers.

* An short article on CBS Sports’ web website stated five coaches on the “incredibly hot seat” for 2019, and Willie Taggart was one particular of the five. Between the other coaches stated ended up Randy Edsall, Lovie Smith and Clay Helton. Now, I believe it’s Extremely unlikely that Taggart would be despatched packing after up coming period for a range of reasons. So this listing isn’t automatically really worth the 30 seconds it took to browse it. But you can rest certain it will get traction mainly because the author works for CBS Sports activities.

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