Friday, November 17, 2017
Colleges

Florida State OL Josh Ball accused of dating violence

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A woman from Hillsborough County has filed for legal protection from Florida State’s Josh Ball, accusing the starting offensive lineman of committing multiple acts of dating violence against her.

Sandra Sellers alleges a history of violence, including three physical attacks on her and a fourth incident that was broken up by men affiliated with FSU football. A court hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

"He is a violent person, and I’m scared he’s going to take it too far," Sellers wrote in a Leon County sworn petition for injunction for protection against dating violence.

Sellers, 20, wrote that she dated the 6-foot-8, 325-pound redshirt freshman for a year and a half and that he first struck her because of an argument last December. Sellers alleges that Ball cracked her phone by throwing it against the wall, slapped her in the face and threw shoes, jewelry and phone chargers out of her car as she tried to leave.

The next allegation occurred March 15, when Ball visited Sellers’ family in Hillsborough County and was unhappy that she hadn’t responded to his text messages quickly enough. When Sellers threatened to tell her parents about the ensuing argument, Ball grabbed her and shoved her into a closet, according to the petition filed in September.

The final instance came two weeks later. Sellers wrote that Ball was healing from a concussion and became "extremely angry" because she was not spending enough time with him. Ball then grabbed her and threw her to the floor, cutting open her right knee, according to the petition.

The incident continued when Ball pushed her into a chair and grabbed her legs, leaving finger marks. He also smacked her on the thigh so hard that he left a bruise of his handprint, according to the petition. Ball bent Sellers’ car key so she couldn’t leave and deleted photos of her injuries from her phone.

Sellers lives in Tallahassee. Her attorney, Leonardo Arias Vera, declined to comment. Neither Ball’s attorney nor the Tallahassee Police Department responded to phone messages.

The Seminoles issued a short statement Monday evening. "We are aware of the matter, which is currently being reviewed by the appropriate authorities. The student-athlete’s status with the team is unchanged. We will have no further comment."

The petition also includes several other allegations of violence.

Sellers wrote that in July 2016, Ball was upset about his roommate’s late visitors that he pounded a hole into his bedroom door with a screwdriver and tried to choke himself. When someone called 911, FSU football personnel "came in the room and told them that the police did not need to come," according to the petition.

Sellers also wrote that Ball cracked her windshield with his hand and tried to tear his door off in separate events.

The most recent incident came the night of Sept. 23, hours after FSU suffered a 27-21 home loss to North Carolina State. Sellers wrote that Ball "jumped on a guy" she was talking to in a bar.

Ball, a Virginia native, was a four-star recruit in high school. After redshirting in 2016, he has appeared in every game during FSU’s 3-5 season with four consecutive starts at left tackle heading into Saturday’s game at No. 4 Clemson.

Contact Matt Baker at mbaker@tampabay.com. Follow @MBakerTBTimes.

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