TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher says the debate about Jameis Winston's contact with an official is much ado about nothing.
Fisher said Monday that there was no "ill will" intended, just confusion about the position of the official.
The Atlantic Coast Conference agrees, saying there was nothing "unsportsmanlike" about the play.
Fisher noted, however, that anything involving the Heisman winner seems to become headline news.
"We all want a controversy," Fisher said. "And I think part of it is, too, is because who he is and what goes on and everything he does is a lightning rod. There was ... no ill malice."
Fisher said part of the confusion stemmed from the additional official the ACC added this year. Center judge Michael Webster stood behind Florida State's center trying to hold up the play to allow Boston College to substitute players. The coach said they aren't used to an official being in that spot.
"He never had an official be there before," Fisher said. "It's always standing over the ball. I know that sounds crazy, but it's the truth. ... He didn't push. You can see him, he's trying to get his shoulder in there to get in there and get the ball. It had never happened to us before.
"He meant no ill will and I thought the official did a tremendous job. ... He wasn't trying to push. He wasn't yelling. ... There is incidental contact."
The ACC added an eighth official to the playing field this season. The official setting the ball and deciding when a play can begin used to stand between the center and defensive line when it was a seven-man crew.
ACC coordinator of officials Doug Rhoads said in a statement the official "believed the contact was incident and insignificant." The league said there would not be any disciplinary action taken against Winston.
"The center judge's positioning, which was due to the experimental year of having an 8th official," Rhoads said, "combined with the late substitution and by rule the need to allow the defense to matchup, led to contact between himself and the player."
There was no penalty called by Webster. He tried to stop Winston from getting under center by giving him a stop sign. Webster stood behind center Cam Erving, who was already in his stance, as Winston approached.
Webster was holding up the play to allow Boston College to substitute players because Florida State had substituted running back Karlos Williams out of the game when Winston muscled in, appearing to give Webster a little push as he tried to initiate the play with Florida State in its hurry-up offense.