By Kate Roth
It seems as though the media cannot get enough of Florida State star quarterback, Jameis Winston. There is always a story talking about Winston’s talent on the field or more recently his troubles off the field. The question now is not whether or not the spotlight will be on Winston, but rather will that spotlight serve as a distraction for the FSU football program.
There have been more breaking news stories about Winston in the past two months than most players have had in their entire football careers. Just in the past three days there were numerous stories surrounding Winston, involving the alleged sexual assault case and now claims of Winston signing autographs in exchange for money.
It just seems as though this young athlete cannot catch a break. Once one story starts to die down, one or two more pop right back up in the media, putting Winston under fire again.
What most people don’t realize as they read these headlines and watch these stories is that this negative attention is not only effecting Jameis, but his coaches and teammates as well.
As much as players try to turn their heads to media and ignore the stories, it is almost impossible for them to go through their daily lives without hearing all these claims being made against the star of their team. Situations like this make it easy for a team to lose focus, and no matter how hard they try they will always be distracted by the media (positive or negative) that surrounds their team.
This can be seen by watching the highlights of the Florida State versus Syracuse game this past Saturday. Even though FSU came away with a 38-20 away victory, it was clear that this was not the team’s sharpest performance, Jameis included. Passes that usually come naturally to Winston seemed to falling short and the team’s overall performance did not live up to the expectations of being the number one team in the nation, leaving the voters no choice but to move Mississippi State into the number one spot after their incredible performance against Auburn.
Now the pressure is on for number two Florida State as the fifth ranked Fighting Irish of Notre Dame come to town this Saturday. Not only is this the biggest game of the year thus far for FSU, but it will be showcased as the college football game of the week on College GameDay.
If there was ever a time that a team needed to get rid of off the field distractions this would be it. Unfortunately for FSU, it does not look like the distractions are going to end any time soon, as long as Jameis Winston remains their starting quarterback.
It will be interesting to see how the team handles all of the pressure and distraction this week as they aim to stay undefeated and regain their spot as the number one team in the nation.