FSU’s starting quarterback, Deondre Francois, has been dismissed from the football program, head coach Willie Taggart said in a statement released earlier today.
Francois was kicked off the team after a video alleging domestic violence surfaced on Saturday and went viral.
Taggart said in his statement that he informed Francois of the decision late Saturday night to release him from the team.
Francois’ girlfriend, known as Dime, posted a video to her Instagram account (@house0fdimes) that featured audio of a man and a woman verbally fighting.
The disturbing exchange of words features a man threatening to assault the woman and hit her in the face. The video displayed an apartment ceiling the entire time it was recording.
The video post has since been deleted. The video’s caption read: “I normally don’t put my business on IG, but I am tired of my name being drug through the mud since the beginning, I have been silent. For two years I have been in a domestic situation with @_dirtie12 I thought I loved him and thought he would change for the better but it has gotten worse.
“I lost my first child because of all of the beating and I suffer from postpartum depression,” the caption read. “This situation is taking a toll on my life. Yes, I stayed after that because I was stupid and blinded by love. This isn’t love. You are a coward and this isn’t right.”
Two of Francois’ teammates who asked to remain anonymous talked about the domestic violence allegations.
One teammate said, “I’ve been playing with Francois for some time now. I cannot see him being that type of person. He is always really chill, lays low, and works hard on the field. But politically I understand the decision that was made.”
Another teammate said, ”I 100 percent understand Coach Taggart’s decision for dismissing Dre. Not only because of what was said and may have been done physically but because we had a disappointing season. If he would have kept Dre our fans and students would not have understood or tolerated him staying on the team.”
The video post tagged Francois’ Instagram account, which has been deleted. All of Francois’ social media profiles have been deleted following his dismissal from the team.
During the 2018 season, FSU’s first losing season in almost four decades, Francois led FSU’s football team as starting quarterback. Due to a knee injury in the season-opening game, he missed the 2017 season.
In January 2018, as Francois was still recovering, Tallahassee police investigated a domestic disturbance at the apartment Francois shared with his girlfriend. No charges were filed.
There was speculation after the 2018 season that Francois might enter the NFL draft or transfer to another school. However, in January Francois announced he would be staying at FSU for the 2019 season.