10/15/14 by Rennie Detore
When is enough going to be enough? In the case of Jameis Winston, it seems like never. And unfortunately, this casts more than a negative light on Florida State University. It casts a negative light on the NCAA, the NFL, and sports in general. Why? Because by allowing Jameis Winston to continue to play this season, and that he will likely be drafted into the professional ranks in the spring, show it doesn't matter what you do off the field. As long as you excel at a sport, it will be overlooked.
Let's take a walk through the brief history of Jameis Winston off the field. In 2012 he was accused of sexual assault. This past spring he was suspended from the Florida State baseball team after being cited for shoplifting. He was suspended from the football team in September for one game after standing on a table outside of a university student union and yelling sexually charged expletives. Now a report by Fox Sports says that Florida State officials and local police covered up the 2012 sexual assault. Winston was cleared of any criminal wrong doing, but now university officials are bringing in an independent arbitrator to hear the case and determine if Winston violated the student code of conduct. And now questions are arising about Winston signing autographs for money for the same company that suspended Georgia running back Todd Gurley allegedly signed autographs for pay for.
Now lets look at what Jameis Winston has done on the field. He's won a National Championship. He's won the Heisman Trophy. And that's enough to keep him on the field at Florida State despite all of the above. And because he is an immensely talented athlete, one of the best players in all of college football, he will more than likely be wearing an NFL jersey next season. And despite talk about his "draft stock dropping", it doesn't matter. Even if his "draft stock" drops him all the way off the board, some team will bring him in and give him a chance.
That's pretty sad, isn't it? This is the picture of what is wrong with the sports. No matter how much ridiculousness Jameis Winston pulls off the field, he's still putting his uniform on this weekend because Florida State has a showdown with #5 Notre Dame. But even if he was suspended, what kind of punishment is that? How does that hurt Jameis Winston? It hurts his team and his teammates if he doesn't play. But how much did sitting out the Clemson game after his profane table dance hurt him? It didn't. He was actually suited up for pre-game warm ups because he supposedly didn't know he was suspended. He was on the sideline the whole game and as visible as any of his teammates that were actually playing.
This is also a picture of what's wrong with the NFL if Winston is drafted with a high pick, as expected, in the 2015 Draft. After all of the domestic violence issues the NFL has dealt with recently. After the Ray Rice incident and the Adrian Peterson accusations, this is a chance for the NFL to make right. It's golden chance for the NFL to make a statement that a player, or potential player's conduct off the field is more important than what he can do on the field. But more than likely, that statement won't be made. Because sadly in the eyes of big time college athletic programs and professional sports, what a player can do on the field outweighs everything else. And that's a shame.
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