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February 2, 2009

Parker's turbulent FSU career comes to an end

Preston Parker's turbulent career at Florida State ended Monday afternoon. The wide receiver, arrested Saturday on charges of DUI first offense, was kicked off the team, FSU coach Bobby Bowden announced through a university release.

"Preston Parker has been dismissed from the Florida State football team due to his latest violation of team policy," Bowden said.

Saturday's arrest, where according to police reports, Parker was found "passed out" at the wheel of his Dodge Charger at 4:42 a.m. in a McDonald's drive-thru, was his second arrest in a year and third at Florida State. His blood alcohol content was .054 – Florida's legal limit is .08 – but a urine test came up a presumptive positive for marijuana.

The university put Parker on a short leash in 2008, after he was arrested in April on gun and drugs charges in Palm Beach County. Police found a small bag of marijuana and a loaded .45-caliber hand gun in his car. He pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors in May and was sentenced to 12 months probation and 50 hours of community service.

Among his conditions to return to the team were a two-game suspension and bi-weekly drug tests. He also was forced to move into a supervised dorm.

Parker told reporters in August he had learned his lesson from that arrest and knew he had to act more responsibly.

"When something happens to you, you realize what you could have lost," Parker said. "I could have lost my whole future. But I'm back here trying to do what I can do to get back on the field, be a leader and be a role model."

Parker's first arrest at FSU came in 2006, but petty theft charges were dropped after he completed a pretrial diversion program.

Parker, who had just finished his junior season, played 33 games for the Seminoles. He was named 2007 team MVP after leading the Seminoles with 1,513 all-purpose yards, topping the team with 62 receptions and finishing second in receiving yards (791), rushing attempts (52) and rushing yards (270).

Despite missing games versus Western Carolina and Chattanooga, Parker led FSU in receptions in 2008 with 40. He gained 372 receiving yards and carried the ball 10 times for 87 yards. He said in December he would return to FSU for his senior season.

"I didn't really do enough to come out," he said.

The deadline to declare for the NFL draft has passed, but Parker could be selected in the league's supplemental draft.


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