Jameis Winston Case at Florida State
You have to love college football..... and of course, the drama that comes along with each season. Think back over the last decade and it's very hard to think of a season that didn't have some sort of scandal during the off season that didn't affect the actual season itself. Florida State now finds itself in the headlines again for a incident that happened in December of 2012.
We all know about Jameis Winston and his bad decisions he has made the last couple of years. The biggest incident being rape allegations, and the smallest being questioning after an alleged pellet gun fight between multiple students. And who could forget about those crab legs? Theme here is simple. He is immature, and has clearly made some bad choices off the field. On the field? Yeah, he is brilliant. And maybe that's why some of his issues off the field will always haunt him, even after they have been "paid" for by Winston. (Sorry, I couldn't resist).
Now we are at the beginning of the 2014 football season, and some of Winston's past has come back to haunt him yet again. This time in the form of a school investigation into possible Title IX Violations. However, unlike when this incident first reared its head into the media back in November 2013, this time Winston isn't concerned with being charged by the state. This investigation is very different from the last. Usually I try to stay away from old topics, and give even less attention to those that their main purpose is to run a name through the mud.... But after reading and hearing what the average fan is saying about this "new" investigation, I knew some light needed to be put on this to help educate some of the fans out there.
First off, I am not by any means, a lawyer. Nor do I claim to have any more incite than what most fans have access to already. I take a situation or incident, and I research it as best as I can with what is available to me. I gather some opinions from different sources, and then I try to look at the incident objectively. To me, that should be the job of EVERY SPORTS MEDIA OUT THERE. I am not here to defend Jameis Winston or the decisions he has made. Those are his and his alone. We don't know this kid. Lots of us like to think we do because we have seen a few interviews on TV and we have watched him play football. What do we know? Well, he is a great football player. He says all the right things to the media. He has some off the field issues that need to be cleaned up. My question is this, Who doesn't have issues? Obviously everyone's issues are different.... but everyone has baggage.
This case at FSU is tough for some to understand. And mainly because the way it was handled the first go around...... But let me throw a "curve ball" at you. Be objective for just as long as it takes you to read this article. What if this whole case was handled poorly because of the alleged victim not cooperating? Think about that for just a minute. This case may have been a clean sweep had she just cooperated from day one. And if I have lost some of you out there, I apologize, but go back and look at how the case was handled/reported ten months ago. This former FSU student that made these allegations never cooperated with anybody that was investigating the case UNTIL the case was made public. Now, I realize what some of you are already saying, and you have tuned me out..... "The police covered it up!!! The school covered it up!!" Hey, maybe you are right. However, the laws of the land I live in are simple. Innocent until proven Guilty. Until the investigation is complete, I reserve judgement on the school, and I reserve judgement on the alleged victim. If the school did anything wrong, it will come out, that much you can count on. "No it won't, they will get away with it because it's FSU".... Right... try telling that to Penn State.
Let the investigation run its course. Listen and read the details. When you mouth off about it, and you don't know what you are talking about.... Yep, you look pretty bad. The truth will come out, and some of it already has, which was indicated in a very recent statement by one of the lawyers involved.
Take it for what it is at this point. It's an investigation to find the truth of whether or not FSU violated Title IX obligations. It's not an investigation with new evidence against Winston (Yep, some out there actually believe this will lead to charges against Winston). Some fans out there will want to trash talk Winston and FSU fans about this, but to that I say this: Rape is a very serious crime, and should not be taken lightly. At the same time, however, making allegations that may not be true are just as serious. And until we know the facts, I reserve judgement for all parties involved. As a fan of college football, I think we would find the season more enjoyable if we all could put our team aside every once and awhile, and treat every incident the same. Innocent until proven guilty.
If by some chance FSU is found to have violated Title IX obligations, then yes, hand out the penalties and pass judgement. If new evidence ever surfaces and the state decides to pursue charges against Winston, and they find him guilty.... Then yes, throw him behind bars, and strip him of every award he has ever won. Most fans who read this article won't buy into being objective about this situation. My goal here, was to help those who want to try to understand the situation at FSU. My goal was to bring this situation to the fans in an unbiased way, and be objective. This is a very terrible situation for both Winston and the alleged victim. At the very least, we should act like grown adults and wait patiently for the investigation to be completed. This incident will haunt both of them, but one more than the other. And it might be the one who is innocent in all of this. It's just a matter of 'who is innocent'.
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