Thursday, November 23, 2017
Colleges

Florida State OL Josh Ball accused of dating violence

RECOMMENDED READING


A woman from Hillsborough County has filed for legal protection from Florida State’s Josh Ball, accusing the starting offensive lineman of committing multiple acts of dating violence against her.

Sandra Sellers alleges a history of violence, including three physical attacks on her and a fourth incident that was broken up by men affiliated with FSU football. A court hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

"He is a violent person, and I’m scared he’s going to take it too far," Sellers wrote in a Leon County sworn petition for injunction for protection against dating violence.

Sellers, 20, wrote that she dated the 6-foot-8, 325-pound redshirt freshman for a year and a half and that he first struck her because of an argument last December. Sellers alleges that Ball cracked her phone by throwing it against the wall, slapped her in the face and threw shoes, jewelry and phone chargers out of her car as she tried to leave.

The next allegation occurred March 15, when Ball visited Sellers’ family in Hillsborough County and was unhappy that she hadn’t responded to his text messages quickly enough. When Sellers threatened to tell her parents about the ensuing argument, Ball grabbed her and shoved her into a closet, according to the petition filed in September.

The final instance came two weeks later. Sellers wrote that Ball was healing from a concussion and became "extremely angry" because she was not spending enough time with him. Ball then grabbed her and threw her to the floor, cutting open her right knee, according to the petition.

The incident continued when Ball pushed her into a chair and grabbed her legs, leaving finger marks. He also smacked her on the thigh so hard that he left a bruise of his handprint, according to the petition. Ball bent Sellers’ car key so she couldn’t leave and deleted photos of her injuries from her phone.

Sellers lives in Tallahassee. Her attorney, Leonardo Arias Vera, declined to comment. Neither Ball’s attorney nor the Tallahassee Police Department responded to phone messages.

The Seminoles issued a short statement Monday evening. "We are aware of the matter, which is currently being reviewed by the appropriate authorities. The student-athlete’s status with the team is unchanged. We will have no further comment."

The petition also includes several other allegations of violence.

Sellers wrote that in July 2016, Ball was upset about his roommate’s late visitors that he pounded a hole into his bedroom door with a screwdriver and tried to choke himself. When someone called 911, FSU football personnel "came in the room and told them that the police did not need to come," according to the petition.

Sellers also wrote that Ball cracked her windshield with his hand and tried to tear his door off in separate events.

The most recent incident came the night of Sept. 23, hours after FSU suffered a 27-21 home loss to North Carolina State. Sellers wrote that Ball "jumped on a guy" she was talking to in a bar.

Ball, a Virginia native, was a four-star recruit in high school. After redshirting in 2016, he has appeared in every game during FSU’s 3-5 season with four consecutive starts at left tackle heading into Saturday’s game at No. 4 Clemson.

Contact Matt Baker at mbaker@tampabay.com. Follow @MBakerTBTimes.

Comments
Presenting the 2017 Sports Turkey of the Year

Presenting the 2017 Sports Turkey of the Year

Happy Turkey Day!Today is a day of tradition.The Macy’s parade. Turkey and stuffing. The Lions and Cowboys.And our annual "Turkey of the Year.’’It’s a tradition started by my former colleague at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the brilliant columnist P...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Rick and Tom podcast: USF vs UCF is the biggest game in Florida this weekend

Rick and Tom podcast: USF vs UCF is the biggest game in Florida this weekend

It’s a Thanksgiving Football Wednesday as Rick Stroud and Tom Jones preview the Bucs-Falcons game, USF-UCF, Alabama-Auburn, Ohio State-Michigan and more.The guys agree on the Bucs game outcome with Rick saying they can’t win. They also agree that Tha...
Published: 11/22/17

Call Missouri jinxed, but Michael Porter Jr. injury is its own story

Please repeat after me: There is no such thing as jinxes, hexes, ghosts or cartoonish black clouds looming with personalized curses for select targets.Honest.But, boy, are there coincidences — even if some say there is no such thing as those, either....
Published: 11/21/17

Chip Kelly is not the best candidate for Florida job

For the sake of a beleaguered and bedraggled fan base, here’s hoping Chip Kelly becomes the next head coach of the Florida Gators even though I think he’s not a great fit — culturally, geographically and philosophically — at UF.Gator Nation needs som...
Published: 11/21/17

Lane Kiffin knows speculation about his future grows with each victory

BOCA RATON — Lane Kiffin already knows what profession he will choose once his coaching career ends.Kiffin, in his first season at Florida Atlantic, thinks he is destined to join the sports-media ranks. It will provide him opportunity to switch roles...
Published: 11/21/17
Jones: Maybe the Florida job isn’t as good as we thought

Jones: Maybe the Florida job isn’t as good as we thought

These are strange, unsettling times for the University of Florida.The Gators need themselves a football coach.They offer a terrific job. Maybe one of the best jobs in the country.Right?Uh, right? (nervous laugh)Well, we’ll soon find out. Maybe this i...
Published: 11/21/17
UF has little to say after meeting with Kelly

UF has little to say after meeting with Kelly

GAINESVILLE — At last, there’s some actual smoke to the Chip Kelly-Florida rumors.The Gators sent a group — including president Kent Fuchs and athletic director Scott Stricklin — to New Hampshire on Sunday to talk with the former Oregon coach about U...
Published: 11/20/17
No. 2 Miami finishes on 30-0 run, tops Virginia 44-28

No. 2 Miami finishes on 30-0 run, tops Virginia 44-28

MIAMI — After Miami clinched the first Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division crown in program history, upset the then-No. 3 team in the country, claimed one of the top four spots in the College Football Playoff rankings and after many of the nat...
Published: 11/18/17
Florida State routs Delaware State 77-6

Florida State routs Delaware State 77-6

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher longed for his team to play in this type of game throughout its disappointing season.After Hurricane Irma caused a three-week layoff between FSU’s first two games, forcing it to play 11 in a row to finis...
Published: 11/18/17
A welcome return to dominance for the Florida defense

A welcome return to dominance for the Florida defense

GAINESVILLE — Chauncey Gardner wasn’t fooled. He saw UAB snap the ball. He saw the quarterback throw a screen. He saw the receiver fire a second pass downfield. Then a crowd of 84,649 saw the sophomore safety high-point the trick-play pass to earn hi...
Published: 11/18/17