Hi gang:
As I’m reading this, I can see some of you are blaming FSU for pulling his pass, but you need to read Mike Olivella’s comment from this morning (which he posted this morning here as a comment, and I’m reprinting below), which explains the issue in better detail.

I had never intended to point any blame at FSU whatsoever, but Mike does a better job of explaining it than I can, so please take a few moments and read Mike’s response below.

Mike Olivella says:

This is not FSU’s fault. Please do not misdirect your venom at FSU or its staff. This was all my fault for not having thought that it would be necessary for me to get approval from the Athletic Department to use my assitant’s credentials as a prize for the contest winner.

I receive 2 sets of credentials for each FSU home game. I am allowed to pick whoever I wish to fill the role. FSU has always trusted me to pick a responsible individual and so I did not think I needed to obtain approval from certain folks at FSU. I thought that by limiting the contest to folks 21 and over, and by picking someone who knew his or her way around photography, they would make a suitable assistant that would make the selection process irrelevant.

The problem is that the SportsShooter guys were fed a bunch of inaccurate info as to what the winner would be doing. They were not told that the winner would not be taking anyone else’s place on the sidelines, i.e. that regardless of whether I picked my assistant through the contest or through my normal means, I would have an assistant with me. They were also not told that the winner would be working, heling me shoot the game by carrying some of my gear and staying by my side.

Because they were not given all the info, and becasue I am not a member of SportsShooter, the SportsShooter guys assumed the worse and went off. With the pressure exerted by some of them, FSU asked me to pull the plug and I had no choice. Had it been properly vetted by me through the chain of command at FSU, they would have been prepared for the possible firestorm and not been caught unaware.

If you want to blame anyone, blame me. I dropped the ball.

So, I tried to work with Scott so as to create a wonderful opportunity for somone to experience something they might never have a chance to do. In return, I have been embarrassed in Scott’s eyes for starting something and then not being able to deliver; I have embarrassed myself in front of all of you, who entered the contest assuming I would deliver; I have embarrassed myself in front of FSU and have apologized to every member of the Sports Information Department and other Departments for having caused them unnecessaru grief. I received countless hate e-mails from Sportshooter members and was called every name in the book (and told by some that they would “look me up” on their next visit to Tallahassee).

It hasn’t been a good last couple of weeks. But it starts and ends with me, not FSU. My humble apologies to all of you for my having let you down.