FSU announced today that Heisman winner Jameis Winston has been suspended for the first half of the football game between the Seminoles and the Clemson Tigers, a game that many expect to define the seasons of both teams.
If FSU loses this one, the team loses the momentum for inclusion in the playoffs. Win and you’re still on track for the ACC championship and the national championship, as well.
If Clemson loses, they miss the best chance that any ACC team has of wresting control away from FSU.
So the stakes are very, very high for both football teams… and now FSU is going to be playing a full half without its best weapon.
Why? Because Jameis Winston is an incredible football player, and he’s in the position that touches the ball on every offensive down, and… oh, you were asking why he’s suspended.
It’s because he reportedly shouted some obsceneties in FSU’s student union. I’m not going to bother pointing out what he said, because that’s easy enough to find and it’s not something I’d ever think to repeat.
This is after allegations that he raped a fellow student two years ago, and after he absentmindedly shoplifted some crab legs from a Tallahassee grocery store.
At this point, it’s really difficult to support Jameis; the rape allegations are a sort of “he said, she said” situation, with people asserting opposite claims on both sides. The police said they didn’t have sufficient evidence to prosecute, and I can only hope that’s because the allegations were false; if they’re true, well, then at this point it’s up to God to mete justice, and I can only hope it lands hard.
The crab legs seemed like simple absentmindedness; that’s easy enough to forgive.
But the point is that he’s a college student – like, in college. He’s won the Heisman Trophy, awarded to the best athlete on the field for a given year – and would have won by a landslide, except many voters didn’t want to vote for him because of the rape allegations.
He’s not an idiot… I think. He should know that he’s being watched, every second. Every little thing he does is going to be examined and exposed.
I don’t expect him to be perfect; that’d be ridiculous. I do, however, expect him to be sane, and mature. It’s one thing to make a mistake, but one doesn’t shout an obscene phrase on top of a table by accident – that’s a deliberate act of stupidity.
Jameis, please, please stop. I have sons. One of them practices football wearing a jersey with your number on it; please don’t make me regret buying it for him.
Florida State, I don’t know how legal this would be – knowing the NCAA, it’s probably against the rules – but it might be worth it to bring on a scholarship player whose sole role is to hang out with Jameis, and every time he makes a decision of any sort, just ask him: “Really? Are you sure? Really?”
Think about it:
Jameis says “Okay, I got my crab legs, time to leave the store!”
Watchdog player then asks: “Really, Jameis? Really?”
Jameis then realizes he’s forgotten something important, and pays for the crab legs.
Let’s try another one.
Jameis is walking around the student union (after the watchdog had asked him “Really? Walk around? Are you sure?”), and sees a beautiful young lass watching him. He starts to saunter over, because even though he’s got a girlfriend already, this other student is pretty.
Watchdog sees him start to walk over, and says “Hey, Jameis – really? Are you sure? Really?”
Jameis realizes that everyone knows his girlfriend is rather attractive, and both he and his girlfriend are aware of social media, and nods to the girl and moves on.
It wouldn’t be foolproof – if Jameis is a strong enough fool, he’d simply ignore the watchdog and crash and burn. But at least he’d have a chance, and when and if he screwed up, parents like me would know that he intentionally went about doing something that we’d not want our children doing, and we could wash our hands of him.
I hate this, really. I want to admire Jameis; I like Florida State, I like football. I despise the idea that the leader of my favorite team is an idiot and a miscreant, but I’m running out of choices to believe otherwise.