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Players Stand Behind Suspended FSU Coach

Posted at 6:00 PM, Nov 07, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-07 22:06:48-05

More details are emerging on why the head football coach from Ferris State University was suspended.

Players are coming forward, talking more about an aggressive motivation session, lead by Head Coach Tony Annese, that occurred during a Michigan Tech game on October, 26.

Sources close to the internal investigation say Coach Annese was using some physical tactics in order to rally the players during half-time in the visitor’s locker room.

Critics feel it might have gone a little to far, but some of the players we talked to are standing behind their coach.

Defensive lineman, Justin Zimmer, and offensive lineman, Sam Parker, said he was just trying to rally his team to victory.

“He`s a terrific motivator, you know. We wouldn’t be here right now in the berth of playoffs and everything, that we’re looking forward to. But, right now we’re just looking at Northwood, that’s all we can see.” said Parker.

Sources close to the internal investigation say that the coach’s passionate and sometimes emotional motivational style may have caught up with him during that half-time rally in late October.

Some players report that Annese put his hands physically on players, startling them, in the defensive locker room.

In the offensive locker room, Annese reportedly threw a clipboard and a backpack or bag.

Parker and Zimmer say nobody was injured during the incident.

“No not even close,” said Parker.

“I think it was just simply a motivational factor that got us to play better the second half,” said Zimmer. “That`s about it really. Nothing wrong.”

Zimmer said they came back from a big deficit during that game.

“Yeah I would say,” said Zimmer.

He said the motivation of the head coach may have been a big factor in that win.

“I would say so yes,” said Zimmer.

The two players went on to say that the coach is more than a motivator to them, but also a role model.

“He encourages a lot of guys on the team to participate in FCA, Fellowship of Christian Athletes,” said Parker. “He talks about how he doesn’t drink in the season he doesn’t do anything unruly in the season. A lot of guys model themselves after that.”

They say they are focusing on a win this weekend, rather than the suspension in the coming days.

“He`s just going to come back like we never skipped a beat,” said Zimmer.

“It`s business as usual all the time here and we love him no matter what,” said Parker.

When asked how he would respond to his coach’s critics, Parker said, “That we`re ready to play Northwood this week.”