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Saturday, December 21
Concern for dad's health led to missed exam

Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State quarterback Chris Rix said he was worried about his father's health when he overslept and missed a final exam, leading to his suspension for the Nokia Sugar Bowl.

"I am deeply sorry for what happened. I let a personal situation with my father distract me far beyond what I intended,'' Rix said Friday in offering his first explanation of his actions.

His suspension Tuesday means the 16th-ranked Seminoles will go into the New Year's Day game against Georgia without their top two quarterbacks. Last month, Adrian McPherson was kicked off the team when he was accused of stealing a check.

When Rix was suspended, the sophomore immediately apologized to teammates, coaches and fans. He said at the time that he overslept because of a "personal family issue, which was weighing heavily on me.''

On Friday, Rix decided to elaborate. He said he returned home Wednesday to Santa Margarita, Calif., and admitted his father to a hospital for an undisclosed ailment. Chris Rix Sr. was released after a day but is still receiving treatment, the younger Rix said.

The younger Rix refused to specify his father's illness, saying it is not terminal, "yet it is very serious.''

"The only regret ... is that I did not come home to help him sooner,'' he told the Tallahassee Democrat.

He said he did not intentionally miss his exam.

"I know the rules about exams and this was the last thing I would have done. I was up very late most of last week talking and communicating with members of my family (on the West Coast) ... worried about my father's condition,'' he said. "I did not get the adequate amount of sleep I needed and I was honestly physically and emotionally drained.

Coach Bobby Bowden has said Rix let his team down, but the quarterback also carried a burden.

"You take a boy that his mother dies when he is 6 and his daddy raises him. You can imagine how close they are,'' Bowden said Saturday. "There would be a lot of concern there by him for his dad.''

Rix should have the opportunity to discuss the situation with his teammates next month.

"I will definitely return to FSU and join the team after the New Year,'' Rix said. "I am not going anywhere.''

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