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Florida State recovers one stolen football trophy


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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. ? (AP) ? One of two $30,000 national football championship trophies stolen last year from a locked case at Florida State University was recovered in Fort Walton Beach, school authorities said Wednesday.


A suspect was in custody in Leon County on Wednesday, awaiting arrest on burglary and grand theft charges, assistant Florida State police chief Tom Longo said.


"It is still an open investigation and for that reason we are not going to release any of the details regarding our efforts to recover the second Waterford crystal football,'' Longo said.


The Waterford Crystal trophies, awarded at the time by Sears in recognition of the 1993 and 1999 national

championships based on the final coaches poll, were removed from a locked wooden-and-glass case outside coach Bobby Bowden's office on June 23, 2004 during renovation work in the area.


There were no surveillance cameras in that area and the trophies were not insured.


Florida State President T.K. Wetherell said security has since been beefed up significantly and added the suspect was not a student or employee at Florida State.


"I thought it was just a matter of time,'' Wetherell said about Wednesday's developments. ??You can't have something like that and somebody's not going to say something to somebody.''


Longo and Wetherell said a $2,500 reward for information leading to recovery of the crystal trophies could be paid.


"I'd like to have the other one,'' said Wetherell, adding he'd "like to have a third one too.''


Wetherell praised the police work and noted the cooperation the school received from the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office.


"We will continue to press hard in this investigation, and we are hopeful that we will have both originals back very soon,'' Wetherell said.


The 1993 team led by Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Charlie Ward finished 12-1, beating Nebraska in the Orange Bowl on a last minute field goal by Scott Bentley. The 1999 team went 12-0 behind the school's second Heisman winner, quarterback Chris Weinke, defeating Virginia Tech and star quarterback Michael Vick in the Sugar Bowl.

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