It was a big laugh-in early in December of last year when the Florida prosecutor announced he was not going to bring the case involving rape allegations against Florida State University (FSU) quarterback Jameis Winston to a grand jury. Everyone was relieved. They knew the sports writers were unconcerned with off the field conduct. They would cast their votes for Winston honoring him with the Heisman Trophy. They rather should have put a blue ribbon around his neck like they do at state fairs.
Winston had been accused of raping a woman. The evidence was pretty solid. The woman reported being raped shortly after it happened. She didn’t know who did it or where it happened having met the man at a bar. Bruises were appearing on her body and semen was found. The cops did nothing since they had nothing to go on.
Then the woman saw Jameis Winston on campus at Florida State. She went to the cops and reported he was the rapist. They then confirmed that the woman had been taken to his apartment. The cops did nothing since the person accused was their star quarterback..
An article about the incident was titled: “A Star Player Accused, and a Flawed Rape Investigation”. It pointed out how the matter was sat on for a whole year by the police and the university. “University administrators, in apparent violation of federal law, did not promptly investigate either the rape accusation or the witness’s admission that he had videotaped part of the encounter. Records show that Florida State’s athletic department knew about the rape accusation early on, in January 2013, when the assistant athletic director called the police to inquire about the case. Even so, the university did nothing about it, allowing Mr. Winston to play the full season without having to answer any questions. After the championship game, in January 2014, university officials asked Mr. Winston to discuss the case, but he declined on advice of his lawyer.”
On Wednesday we had another big laugh when we read what the FSU president said: “As the university’s most visible ambassadors, student-athletes at Florida State are expected to uphold at all times high standards of integrity and behavior that reflect well upon themselves, their families, coaches, teammates, the Department of Athletics and Florida State.”
She was explaining why she imposed punishment on Winston. He had stood on a table at the university in the union in the middle of campus. One student tweeted: “Today I walked by some big guy who kept saying [then spelled out who it was and what he was saying].” It was a vile obscene few words both degrading and insulting to women.
Yes, the same man who got a pass on a rape is engaging in totally reprehensible conduct in public. In any university with a modicum of decency he’d have been immediately expelled. At FSU his violation of its “high standards of integrity and behavior” demanded a punishment of not being able to play the first 30 minutes of the next football game.
The president might as well have said with a knowing chuckle: “Don’t worry fans I had to do something. I know football wins are more important than proper standards of behavior toward women. We’ll have him for the second half.”)
Back on April 30 of this year he was caught stealing from a Publix Supermarket. it was reported: “Winston, 20, said he took “full responsibility” for making the “terrible mistake” of ordering $32.72 worth of crawfish and crab legs from the deli at a Publix near the Florida State campus and, after picking the food up, departing without paying. He called the incident a moment of “youthful ignorance.” This is Winston’s fourth incident in the last 18 months involving law enforcement. He was not charged or arrested in any of the cases, including a rape case.”
What are we to make of this. Florida State University refuses to investigate a rape allegation because its against its star quarterback; it does nothing to him after he shoplifts, and gives him a slight punishment for openly offending every female student within hearing with his outrageously obscene shouts about women.
Senator Claire McCaskill hit the nail on the head saying: “I take little comfort in a suspension of 30 minutes from a game for shouting obscenities when this university and local law enforcement purposefully failed to investigate serious allegations of rape against this same star athlete.”
For me, none of this is a surprise. How many sports writers voted for Winston to receive the Heisman trophy justifying the vote by saying his conduct off the field does not matter? How many of these same writers are now telling us that Ray Rice’s conduct off the field is something that does matter?
I was brought up to respect women. My friends were of the same mind. We’d run into guys who didn’t. We called them pigs. Clearly Winston fits into that category. I wonder if he’ll get the blue ribbon this year?