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Quote:FSU's Sexton Out For Season

By DOUG CARLSON dcarlson@tampatrib.com
Published: Jul 10, 2005

TALLAHASSEE - Florida State quarterback Wyatt Sexton, whose bizarre behavior in the streets outside his home June 14 led police to hospitalize him under the state's Baker Act, won't be playing football this season.
Weeks of medical tests have revealed that Sexton, who turns 20 on July 20, is suffering from advanced stages of Lyme disease, a bacterial infection commonly transmitted to humans through tick bites.

After being diagnosed in Tallahassee, Sexton flew to Pennsylvania on Thursday to meet with a world-renowned expert on Lyme disease, his family said in a release Saturday morning.

S. Chandra Swami, a physician who specializes in Lyme disease, confirmed the diagnosis and recommended intensive antibiotic therapy for a period of months to purge the disease from Sexton's organs.

Though the disease is curable, it could take months for Sexton to recover with the advanced stage of infection he is suffering from, his family said.

Swami said Sexton is suffering from ``neuropsychiatric and cardiovascular deficits'' and shouldn't be stressed by the demands of athletics and academics at this time.

Sexton had been expected to start at quarterback for the Seminoles this season, leading them into the nationally televised season opener against rival Miami on Sept. 5.

His absence leaves FSU with no experienced quarterbacks and means freshmen Drew Weatherford and Xavier Lee will battle for the starting job when preseason practice opens Aug. 9.

Lee was redshirted last season as a freshman, while Weatherford, the former Land O' Lakes High star, received a medical waiver last season after sustaining a sprained ankle against North Carolina on his only play of the season.

``We're going to help each other out, and we're both going to be prepared and ready to play,'' Weatherford said Thursday afternoon, before confirmation that Sexton would not be available this season.

``It's going to come down to the intangibles - leadership, knowledge of the playbook, protecting the ball. I think consistency and leadership are going to be the things they are looking for.''

Sexton started seven games last season for FSU, replacing Chris Rix when he sprained his ankle against Clemson on Sept. 25. Sexton completed 139 of 252 pass attempts for 1,661 yards, with eight touchdowns and eight interceptions.

He had his finest game against Virginia in a meeting of top-10 teams, when he completed 20 of 26 passes for 275 yards in a 36-3 victory.

Tallahassee police were called to Sexton's street June 14 when several witnesses said he was acting in a threatening and bizarre fashion. Witnesses said he was lying in the road, or wandering around in a daze, gesturing wildly and making no sense with his comments.

Sexton had been placed on indefinite suspension from the football team June 2 for unspecified reasons, and had returned from a weekend trip to the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Tennessee just before wandering into the street outside his home.

When police asked his name, he responded ``God'' and later said he was ``the son of God.'' Police eventually subdued him with pepper spray and placed him in handcuffs and manacles before transporting him to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital.

``Going into this, the only thing we did was come up with a Plan A and a Plan B,'' FSU coach Bobby Bowden said in statements released by the school of the uncertainty he and the team have experienced the past three weeks.

``Plan A, of course, was if Wyatt was healthy and ready to go. Plan B was what we would do if he wasn't able to go. Obviously, now we have to go with Plan B.''

Bowden said the school will seek a sixth year of eligibility for Sexton from the NCAA, which would give him two years to play, starting with the 2006 season.

Meanwhile, Bowden's attention will turn to choosing between Weatherford and Lee.

``Xavier and Drew will start out even when we return to practice, and we'll have 3 1/2 weeks to see if one can separate himself from the other,'' Bowden said. ``If not, we will go into the season with two quarterbacks ready to go.''

Sexton's parents asked that their son's privacy continue to be respected.

``We appreciate the many expressions of support for our son shown by those in our community, church and the Florida State football family,'' Joy and Billy Sexton said in a statement released by the school Saturday. ``It has been a very difficult time for Wyatt. It has also been hurtful to Wyatt and our family to see some media reports were simply not true.''

WHAT IS IT? Lyme disease is an infection caused by a kind of bacteria called a spirochete (""spy-ro-keet''). The disease is carried by ticks, which can spread the disease to animals and humans through bites. These ticks are about the size of a sesame seed. Lyme disease is most common in rural and suburban areas in the Northeastern and Midwestern states. It was discovered and named in the late 1970s when arthritis was discovered in a large group of children in and around Old Lyme, Conn.

SYMPTOMS: One sign of Lyme disease is a rash, which might appear three to 30 days after a tick bite. This rash usually starts at the site of the tick bite. It might begin as a small red spot and grow larger. Some people with Lyme disease have many red spots. The rash might burn, hurt or itch, or you might not notice it. Other early symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, chills, headaches, stiff neck, fatigue, muscle aches, joint pain and general depression.

HOW IS IT CURED? With antibiotics. Early Lyme disease responds very well to treatment. In most cases, 14 to 30 days of treatment with an antibiotic kills the bacteria.

Source: familydoctor.org, arthritis.org

Lyme disease :eek:
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