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Crist advocates for FSU, asks NCAA to consider 'modified tournament'

Former governor seeks opportunity for Seminoles
Posted at 11:38 PM, Mar 16, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is among those who wants to see the NCAA basketball tournament fulfilled -- for selfish reasons.

The U.S. congressman penned a letter to NCAA President Mark Emmert on Saturday, asking Emmert to "remain open-minded on holding at least some version of March Madness if and when the public health risk subsides."

One of Crist's motivating reasons is the success of his alma mater. The No. 4 Florida State Seminoles (26-5, 16-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) won their first-ever regular-season ACC title and were pacing to win 30 games for the first time in school history.

"For Seminole nation, it is a bittersweet moment," Crist wrote.

Although Crist called the cancellation of the NCAA tournament "prudent and fully justified" to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the Republican-turned-Democrat said college basketball's popular postseason event vital for national morale.

"We need something to cheer for, quite frankly, in these uncertain times," Crist wrote. "And a full or modified tournament, for both men's and women's basketball, might be just what we all need when this crisis passes."

Crist's request comes one day after the Florida Senate passed a resolution proclaiming the Seminoles as 2020 national champions.