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Insider

Coach defends Hearns after ejection

6/20/2012

Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln head coach Yusuf Shakir doesn't understand why such a big deal is being made out of linebacker James Hearns' ejection from Florida State's 7-on-7 tournament Saturday.

Officially, Hearns was ejected for multiple taunting penalties. Hearns reported on his Twitter account that he was ejected for doing the "gator chomp" during the event which sparked the story. Hearns is committed to Florida.

Shakir said he will use it as a lesson for his star linebacker.

"You know the kids from the opposing team and the guy that was running the field were on James all day and that happens to players that come into these events with a little publicity," Shakir said. "He's a ranked kid and the other teams are going to go after him. One of the fouls came when he was defending one of his teammates and we want our kids to stick out for each other.

"But it wasn't a big deal. It happened, we still won the event, and even if we didn't it wasn't a big deal. This was just a 7-on-7 tournament that gave us the chance to get some reps in."

Shakir said that the ejection came from one of the volunteers that was in charge of the field Lincoln was playing on.

"It wasn't the officials or the coaches at FSU, it was just this volunteer that made the call," Shakir added. "The officials are local Tallahassee association guys and they were letting them play. Had it been Coach [Jimbo] Fisher out there, he probably would have told the guy to back off and let James play the rest of the tournament."

Hearns took to Twitter after the event and got into a digital squabble with FSU offensive lineman Daniel Glauser after Glauser tweeted "have fun loosing in doak this year".

Hearns responded "lol kid you had to go the juco route shouldn't you be studying? You went to FSU for academics didn't you?" Glauser answered with "I speak 5 languages and you? Let me guess 1."

Glauser was born in Switzerland and played two years of junior college football at the New Mexico Military Institute.

Shakir said Hearns will be more careful with his actions in the future.

"I talked with him about how these days go, and about all the Twitter and stuff," Shakir said. "It wasn't a big deal, it was made into a big deal because these stories get around. This has nothing to do with Lincoln football, getting ready for the season and trying to win a state championship."

Shakir said Lincoln will continue to attend the event and said there are no issues with Lincoln and the FSU program. For nearly two decades years Lincoln has been a pipeline to FSU with players like Pat Watkins, Antonio Cromartie and Craphonso Thorpe starring for the Seminoles.

In recent years, however, Lincoln's top players have found other homes. Former ESPN 150 prospects T.J. Bryant, Jawanza Starling and Javorious Allen have gone to USC. Class of 2012 Lincoln wide receiver Raphael Andrades signed with Florida and Class of 2013 ESPN 300 wide receiver Reggie Davis is committed to Georgia.

One of Lincoln's top assistants is former Florida wide receiver Jacquez Green, but Shakir says that he actually has more former FSU alums on his staff than any other school.

"We have no problem with Florida State or any other program in the nation," Shakir said. "They have done a great job of recruiting and signing the players that fit into their program -- and unfortunately those players haven't come from Lincoln in the last couple of seasons. But coach Fisher and his staff are always welcome at this school."