By Kaleb Page
Nobody can deny the talent they have seen from game to game by Jameis Winston over his short time at Florida State. On the field his precision passing, passion for the game and command of the team has those at the next level drooling at what they could get. However, the star that is Jameis Winston could be on a collision course with a fate that nobody expected when he burst on the scene.
It all started on December 7th, 2012 when a female student was allegedly a victim of sexual assault by a male the morning after going to a local night club in Tallahassee, Florida. It took 34 days for the police to identify the man who did this and it was the victim who identified who it was, not police; the man identified was Jameis Winston. Prosecutors then waited another two weeks to contact Jameis about this, and then went on to do an even bigger baffling move. Without even interviewing witnesses or getting a DNA sample from Jameis, the case was closed on February 11th, 2013. But wait there is more. After letting nine months pass, on November 14th, 2013 investigators finally took interviews and a DNA sample from Winston. Ultimately leading to a ruling by the local prosecutor to not prosecute Jameis due to lack of evidence.
This whole thing from the start reeked of fishy methods and things done not in the sake of justice and truth but rather in the best interest of the school and its athletics. This event also brought into question the character of Jameis and how could he possibly do something like that or even put himself in that situation. This event is getting more press of late due to a report issued by The New York Times on October 10th, 2014. This report had shocking evidence as to how bad the university and law enforcement handled this situation. The school and law enforcement should be ashamed of how this all was handled and is still being played out. This made me think of a big question that could be added into this situation: How far will schools go to keep their star talent on the field?
Even though that event is the most serious and needs more attention, that was just the beginning of things that left people around the country wondering: What is Jameis thinking?
The same year of the alleged sexual assault (2012), Jameis and teammates had a BB gun fight in their apartment causing damages up in the area of $4,000. Then in April of this year, Jameis went to a local grocery store and was caught stealing crab legs. He went on to make an apology and said “he forgot.” Then in the student union of Florida State he was seen on top of a table screaming an explicit phrase that got him suspended for the entire game against Clemson.
The straw that could break the camel’s back might be on its way. Recent developments are showing that the compliance department within Florida State athletics is investigating more than 950 autographed items by Winston found on the same site as Georgia’s suspended running back Todd Gurley, who had 500 items on the site. With this being a relatively new development it will be interesting if Winston will receive the same punishment as Gurley and be suspended for the rest of the season, thus possibly ending his Florida State football career.
Will the punishment happen though? From the track record of little to nothing done to discipline Jameis for his actions, my answer to that question would be no. Now Jameis may be a good person deep down and since I don’t know him maybe I should step back on my judgment. However with that said, it is hard to look at the list of bad judgment that follows him and not make a judgment of my own about the person he is. I wish Jameis for all his talent he had on the field, had just the equal amount of talent to think before he acts.
As for the big storm cloud building by the day around not only Jameis but around Florida State athletics and Tallahassee law enforcement, only time will tell the implications of their actions. It will most certainly get worse before it is all over, and for all that Florida State has built in the past years that made them into a premiere place to be, it all could come tumbling down. The investigators and prosecutor as well could see their credibility and reputation tarnished. But this all circles back to one person: Jameis Winston. Now is the time for this star to either wake up and become something better on and off the field, or continue on this path.
It is either he goes on to shine like so many of us believed when he just began, or this star will become like so many stars before it and implode on itself, turning into a black hole full of mystery. Mystery as to what could have been of Jameis Winston.