Winston in Trouble….Again

Posted on October 15th, by Tom Fireoved in All, College Football, NCAA. No Comments

Jameis Winston is being investigated…again. Big shock for a guy who seemingly thinks rules (of any kind) don’t apply to him. The latest alleged “rules” violation investigation comes from having more than 950 signed items cataloged on the website for James Spence Authentication (JSA), a company that verifies the authenticity of signatures for the purpose of selling them. This is the same company that had more than 500 Todd Gurley signed items resulting in the Georgia running back’s suspension for allegedly taking money for signings.


These aren’t the kinds of autographs that have Winston in trouble

Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher, who comes across as the ultimate enabler to Winston’s missteps by protecting his Heisman winner no matter what the circumstances, had this to say after Saturday’s win against Syracuse, “Kids sign things all the time, so what do you want them to do, stop signing stuff? We could make them not have any fans from that standpoint and not sign for anybody. That’s what it’s going to come to, and that’s a shame for college football, that somebody exploits a kid. Now, if they’re getting paid for it, then I don’t have any knowledge of that. I don’t believe Jameis did.”

Yeah right Jimbo lol. You don’t believe Winston was paid for the signatures? JSA has almost 1,000 signed Winston items, many just individual number 5’s (430 of them to be exact)  that will later be sewn on to jerseys or swatches of material to be sold, that were collected from hundreds of random autograph seekers, I guess in your mind, at different times and different places – probably a bunch of kids for that matter – and they all ended up in sequential order in the hands of a signature authenticator. Jimbo….c’mon Jimbo…..c’mon……

I’m going to look at this latest Winston incident from two different angles. The first being another mark against Winston’s character to accompany all the other marks, which include a sexual assault charge, crab legs theft, fights, shouting obscenities in the student union, breaking windows with BB guns, stealing from a Burger King, etc., etc.  It’s a disturbing pattern that doesn’t seem to disturb Coach Fisher (or FSU for that matter), as long as the Seminoles remain in the hunt for a 2nd consecutive National Championship. He, like his star QB, comes across to me as a defiant, arrogant liar, to be blunt, and it’s impossible to believe anything that comes out of either one of their mouths now. Fool me once, twice, three times, four times….well no more. And unfortunately until Winston has to answer for his actions, nothing will probably change. Its a shame that the “adult” in charge of grooming teens into men on the campus of FSU (when it comes to football), is either in denial, at best, or a selfish liar only concerned with his own well being, at worst.

Now let’s look at the most recent reason for Winston’s troubles – the accustaion of selling signatures for profit – from another viewpoint. It is without a doubt against the rules of the NCAA, and if Winston, Gurley or anyone else broke it, they should be held accountable and suffer the penalities. Rules have to be followed, in sports and in life, or chaos ensues. But for the rule itself, and whether I believe it should remain in place – that’s another story.

It’s a rule that I find archaic and incredibly hypocritical coming from an organization that reaps obscene profits for its member schools due to the efforts of those athletes. To not allow an individual to make money off his or her own name simply because they are on an athletic scholarship seems absurd, and I do believe it will be eliminated in the not too distant future. To me the defiance of this rule by current collegiate athletes is understandable, although, still not acceptable while the rule is still in place.

Hundreds of millions of dollars are made off these star athletes every single year, but trade an autograph for a free meal and the athlete is in trouble. I think it would be a great place to start in regards to the entire “play for pay” debate, allowing athletes to profit from their name, whether it be in commercial form, personal appearances or just selling signatures. The free market will play out as it does in all business, and star players will have the potential to make more money than bench riders, and athletes in high revenue sports will have the potential to profit more than those in non or lesser revenue sports – as they should.

But for now it’s still a rules violation, and another example of a star athlete that feels he can do as he pleases without any consequences. Perhaps because no one has ever told him, or shown him, otherwise.



Tom Fireoved

Tom Fireoved is the Co-Founder of ScoreBoardTX and President of Franchise Sports & Entertainment, a Dallas based athlete marketing and consulting agency. He formerly served as Vice President of the Texas Rangers and Executive Vice President of the Dallas Stars.

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