TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher apologized Monday for using the term “retarded'' in response to a question about his team's ranking in the BCS standings that determine which teams play for the national championship.
After being asked about Florida State's being 10th in the BCS behind three Southeastern Conference teams with two losses, he asked “how retarded is it?''
A few hours later, Fisher apologized.
“That's not the way I think,'' Fisher said. “It was a poor choice of words. I didn't mean to offend anyone in any way.''
The word “retarded'' and its variations are considered hurtful to many and was targeted by the Special Olympics a few years go to end its use. Sometimes meaning stupid or foolish, the term has long been considered offensive.
The Seminoles (9-1, 6-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) are ranked No. 10 nationally. They have just one win over a ranked team, Clemson, and two victories over lower division schools. A road defeat to a North Carolina State team that has lost four times this season is also hurting them in the computer portion of the BCS poll. Strength of schedule is a key component in the computer rankings.
Fisher said during his weekly news conference that he believes only coaches are capable of picking the country's best teams, noting that he voted his team fourth in this week's coaches' poll. Fisher said the current system “stinks'' and that he preferred a system without adding a playoff to get to a championship game.
His comments came a few hours before the BCS announced agreement on a seeded four-team playoff to begin in the 2014-15 season.
But others, including ACC Commissioner John Swofford, praised the agreement to begin a playoff with the teams chosen by a selection panel.
“This entire approach is proving to be beneficial for both college football and for the Atlantic Coast Conference,'' Swofford said.