FSU Linebacker A.J. Nicholson Accused of Sexual Assault

Florida State starting linebacker A.J. Nicholson was suspended by the team and questioned by police Thursday after a 19-year-old woman accused him of sexually assaulting her.

A decision on whether to charge Nicholson, the team's leader in tackles, will be made following the completion of an investigation, which will likely extend into next week, police said. Nicholson was released by police and sent home by the team, which arrived Wednesday in South Florida to play Penn State in the Orange Bowl on Tuesday.

The woman called police at 3 a.m. Thursday and said she had been assaulted by a Florida State player, later identified as Nicholson, police detective Carlos Negron said. The alleged incident occurred at the Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa, where the Seminoles are staying.

Nicholson went to the police station voluntarily and was questioned for two hours, Negron said. The woman was also interviewed by detectives and taken to a rape treatment center.

Negron declined to give further details because the case remains open.

Coach Bobby Bowden said Nicholson was suspended for violating a team rule but declined further comment on the case.

Nicholson, a senior, has started every game the past two seasons and led the Seminoles this year with 100 tackles.