TALLAHASSEE, Fl. (Reuters) - Florida State University suspended a star running back from its football team on Friday when he was charged with punching a woman outside a night spot near the state capitol — the second such case in about two weeks for the squad.
Dalvin Cook, 19, was charged with misdemeanor battery in the June 23 incident in front of Clyde’s and Costello‘s, a popular downtown bar that had closed at about 2 a.m.
The woman, who identified Cook from a police photo lineup, said another man asked her to go home with him and when she refused, she became involved in an argument with Cook.
State Attorney Willie Meggs said on Friday he had interviewed the woman, who is not a student at the university, and another witness, and found her story credible.
He gave Cook the option of turning himself in, which he did late on Friday.
Cook denies hitting the woman, according to a police affidavit for his arrest warrant.
The woman told ESPN.com she was punched in the face several times, splitting her bottom lip.
The incident occurred the day before quarterback De‘Andre Johnson was captured on video hitting a woman in the face at another bar and was subsequently charged with assault.
Johnson was also dismissed from the team. He has a July 22 court appearance scheduled for a status hearing.
University President John Thrasher issued a statement saying he would improve conduct in the FSU Athletics Department and told head coach Jimbo Fisher to develop training to make sure players understand the consequences of their off-campus activities.
“I remain committed to educating our young men and holding them accountable for their actions,” Fisher said. “We will do better. I will not tolerate anything less.”
Cook ran for 1,008 yards last season, leading the Seminoles, and scored eight touchdowns.
(This story corrects that the state attorney did not meet with Cook, but a witness, in paragraph 4)
Editing by Victoria Cavaliere