© 2023 WFSU Public Media
WFSU News · Tallahassee · Panama City · Thomasville
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

QB Deondre Francois Axed From Team Amid Domestic Violence Allegation, Accuser Later Refutes Story

Lynne Sladky
AP Photo

Deondre Francois, former starting quarterback for Florida State University football, was released from the team over the weekend. Seminoles Head Coach Willie Taggart made the announcement after a video surfaced online that allegedly has audio of Francois in a domestic violence altercation with a woman.

Neither Francois nor the woman who posted the video to Instagram can be seen in the roughly 20-second clip. In it, a man alleged to be Francois can be heard threatening and what sounds like hitting a woman.

In his statement releasing Francois, Taggart says as coach he will “not shy away” from enforcing high standards of conduct.

On Monday, a day after the incident went public, Francois’ former girlfriend who posted the video took to social media with an apology to the Francois and his family, claiming Francois has never hit her.

In the apology, she claims she intentionally misled with the original video, writing: “The sounds you hear in the video are me throwing things and hitting him. I should have never made it seem like he was hitting me.”

This is not the quarterback’s first brush with controversy. In 2018, Tallahassee Police responded to another domestic violence call involving Francois and a girlfriend – but no charges were filed. In the same year, Francois was also the subject of an investigation into whether he was selling marijuana at his off-campus apartment. No arrest was made, and Francois was ultimately placed in a diversion program and kept on the team.

Once 2016’s Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year, Francois sat out most of the 2017 season due to injury before returning as starter this past season. With Francois off the team, his backup James Blackman is assumed to be named starter for the coming year.

Ryan Dailey is a reporter/producer for WFSU/Florida Public Radio. After graduating from Florida State University, Ryan went into print journalism working for the Tallahassee Democrat for five years. At the Democrat, he worked as a copy editor, general assignment and K-12 education reporter.