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Peter Tom Expected Better

Posted May 9, 2008 by Aaron Knox

Updated May 9, 2008 at 01:04 PM

In chatting with Peter Tom Willis on Thursday for a story in today’s Tampa Tribune, you couldn’t help but notice how disappointed he remains in the way his exit from FSU’s radio booth was handled.

Willis was unexpectedly fired last month as FSU’s radio color analyst. The former FSU quarterback, who now calls Valrico home, didn’t see it coming. While the school provided no specific reason, FSU coach Bobby Bowden has said publicly he believed Willis was too critical at times.

“The main thing is that it didn’t have to be handled the way it was handled,’’ Willis said. “Believe me, in the big scheme of things, me not doing the radio anymore is not that big of a deal. I think the world of that university. Having played there, and been a part of that place, it’s just very disappointed how I’ve been treated.

“I do think they got a good guy in William Floyd. I think he will do an excellent job.’’

Willis scoffs at the notion he was too critical of the program.

“What people have to understand is, I love Florida State, and I don’t want to be critical, but at the same time, I can’t sit up there and say things are going great when they aren’t going great,’’ he said. “When we do stuff well, I probably get overly excited. Our fans aren’t crazy. They’re not going to watch what has been happening over the last seven years, and say that’s great offense. It’s not. I’m not going to be the one to sit up there and say it is. If people want to get mad at me for that, they can.’’

Willis has not spoken to Bowden since he was fired, and whether he will in the future remains uncertain. When asked if it was important to him to smooth out whatever differences Bowden may have with him, Willis replied:

“I used to think that way, but I’m not so sure anymore.’’

Here are a couple of extra leftovers:

Q: Will you still come to games at Florida State?
A: “I don’t know if I’ll come up this year, but I’ll definitely come back up. I’m not going to let one or two people run me off from there. I love the place. I love everything about it.’’

Q: Do you have any regrets about the way you did the job?
A: “I’m comfortable with the way I’ve conducted myself over the last 10 years. I’ve apologized for a couple of situations where I have probably used the wrong wording, but other than that, I feel I have nothing to apologize for.’’

Reader Comments

Por (mike evans) on May 09, 2008 (Suggest removal)

What is not being captured in the evolving dialog around PT is the enormity of the decline in FSU’s position as the premier football program in the nation to mediocrity. PT had a responsibility to the entire Seminole Nation as does his successor. His choice was to resign in frustration and allow the program to continue to flounder or to bring attention to the coaching issues that were so obvious to us all. He chose the role of thought leader and gadfly. He should have been rewarded not fired. I can tell you the conversations at the tailgates and in the stands were much more brutal than anything PT said. The worst part was that the coaches were letting the boys down, someone had to speak up. Someone had to act. PT made the right choice.

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Por (TEB) on May 09, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Thats the FSU way! Don’t fix the team Fire the radio analyst.

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Por (Timothy Dean Clark) on May 09, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Peter Tom may have been to truthful. The
offense did look very poor. Their was no
logic in the play calling. Example running the ball well, picking up 1st downs, oh lets throw the ball deep, again, and again, results punt. Peter Tom earned a better method of being fired.

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Por (Braulio Vicente Jr.) on May 09, 2008 (Suggest removal)

As a graduate from FSU and a Seminole Booster I have been dissapointed in how our football program has performed over the last 5 years.  The fans that are truly impartial agree with PT’s comments. I hope some good comes out of this where FSU fans will become more outspoken about the current state of the program.  Way too much has been invested in the athletic program to accept our recent performances.  The Seminole Nation deserves better!  Go Noles!

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Por (Bob Maxey) on May 09, 2008 (Suggest removal)

As a Booster and FSU season ticket holder, I was very disappointed that PT was let go.  Where have we gone as a country if we can’t be critical, particularly when it’s constructive criticism aimed at fixing the program.  As the Bible says, don’t point out the splinter in someone else’s eye until you’ve removed the plank from your own.  The people responsible for his ousting should remember that.

PT gave honest reports of the state of the FSU program.  He always showed that he cared and wanted better for the program.  I wish him well.  I’ve been just as frustrated with FSU’s performance as PT was.  I applaud his honesty.

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Por (jarvis tampa) on May 09, 2008 (Suggest removal)

longtime fan! i dont think that any of what peter-tom said was that bad. im a noles fan since about 89 and our team does look like a high school offense. peter tom was with us when we cared about winning and not how good we look in our uniform(except deion). it probaly upset him to-the-tee to see us perform so poorly. he was just stating the facts about what is going on in our program right now. hats off peter tom for his contribution to the program thru his playing days and radio days. he will be missed because he was great voice and precense next to gene d. GO NOLES!

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Por (keith mitcham) on May 11, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Saying the things he said helped bring about change.  And change was the best thing that could have happened for that team.  Bowden got too involved in this one.

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Por (Gerri Shephard) on September 13, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I was so mad to hear PT Willis was fired for speaking the truth! He had the guts and passion to say what we all were thinking! I have been a die hard Seminole fan since my first year at FSU in 1987 and my family has had 4 season tickets every year since then. We too are passionate about the Noles and during the slide the last several years, PT was a breath of fresh air. He didn’t sugar coat things. He cares about the football program. Like the rest of us, he wants them to get back to the dynasty they once were. The truth hurts sometimes!  We love Gene too!

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