Winston Cleared But Image Stained
According to Willie Meggs, the state attorney for the area near Tallahassee Florida, “there was not a reasonable likelihood of a conviction of Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston. That means Winston hasn’t been and won’t be charged with any crime. A Florida State female student had claimed that Winston had sexually assaulted her almost a year ago. Meg’s and his staff looked into the case for the last three weeks and didn’t uncover enough evidence to take the case to trial. Winston has admitted having sex with the woman but says it was consensual. You could draw two conclusions, either Meggs thinks Winston might be guilty but he didn’t have enough evidence to win at trial, or Meggs doesn’t believe the woman and thinks she made up the story. At his news conference on Thursday afternoon, Meggs seemed to lean heavily towards believing Winston’s side. He said the woman’s story changed a lot, and the real bombshell, another man’s DNA was found on her clothes from that night, and it belonged to her boyfriend. Meggs said the boyfriend wouldn’t cooperate with officials.
While I assume the case is now behind Winston and opens the door wide for him to play Saturday against Duke in the ACC championship game, something still doesn’t sit we’ll with me. This story reminds me of the Duke men’s lacrosse scandal several years ago. Several players on the team were accused of the same thing as Winston by an unnamed woman. Some players were kicked off the team, all of their names were made public. They were embarrassed and humiliated, just like Winston. Then the woman’s story fell apart and the charges were dropped but not before everyone knew the players involved but NOT the accuser.
There is a problem in our justice system where an anonymous person can make a serious charge against someone, in this case a Heisman Trophy candidate and quarterback for the number one team in the country, and drag his name and reputation through the mud. Now don’t get me wrong, if Winston or anyone else, is guilty of such a charge, throw the book at him but throughout this entire public ordeal the accuser is referred to as “the victim”. Isn’t Winston the victim here? Will the stink of this accusation ever leave Winston? Even though he was cleared, whenever he gets a speeding ticket in the future, this case will come up. If the woman made the story up because she was embarrassed or ashamed she had sex with Winston, she can’t be allowed to drag a person down with no repercussions to her. Winston is tainted.
Many Heisman an Trophy voters said they wouldn’t vote for Winston if the charges were true, some may still not just because of his involvement. A Heisman is extremely prestigious, it means money for Winston down the road, maybe a higher draft position and possibly losing it because of a false accusation, by an anonymous person is just flat out wrong.
Now with all of this settled, I’m changing my earlier Heisman choice. Winston will beat Jordan Lynch of Northern Illinois for the Heisman later this month. Winston becomes the second straight freshman to win the Heisman and in all likelihood, he will lead the Seminoles to the national championship. That’s a classic fairy tale book ending to this season for Jameis, with an unfortunate, seedy paper book drama in between.