College Football

Jameis Winston Allegations: With Great Success Comes Great Scrutiny

USA Today
Barrett SalleeSEC Football Lead WriterNovember 14, 2013

"You build them up to tear them down."

That's a common cliche associated with big-time celebrities in all walks of life.

Sometimes the subject does it by his or her own actions, and sometimes it's a product of increased and exaggerated scrutiny associated with expanded exposure.

In the case of Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, we don't know which one it is yet.

TMZ reported late Wednesday afternoon that the Seminoles' redshirt freshman quarterback was the focus of a sexual assault investigation stemming from an incident on Dec. 7, 2012.

The investigation is ongoing and has been turned over to the State's Attorney's Office, and Winston's status with the Seminoles hasn't changed, according to the Tallahassee Democrat's Sean Rossman and Jeff Burlew.

"We've been cooperating with the law-enforcement agencies and we're hoping to get a quick resolution in favor of Mr. Winston," attorney Tim Jansen told the Democrat.

The first and primary concern should be with the victim in this case, whether the crime was committed by Winston or not. 

Nov 2, 2013; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston (5) during pre game warm ups before the game against the Miami Hurricanes at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

But the specifics of the case raise questions as to "why." Jansen said that he was notified of the case's existence in February, and was told that it was closed a week later. He was notified Monday that a media outlet requested records of the incident on Friday.

Why now?

Why did this news come to light in on Nov. 13, 2013, more than 11 months after the incident allegedly took place?

Conspiracy theorists can jump to the conclusion that the news was leaked by someone looking to hurt Winston—who's the front-runner for the Heisman Trophy—or Florida State, which is ranked No. 2 in the BCS.

Before the grandiose theories begin, let's take a step back.

The Tallahassee Police Department received a complaint regarding Winston, and that's news no matter when the story is made public.

This is just another case of great scrutiny coming along with great success.

WINSTON SALEM, NC - NOVEMBER 09:  Jameis Winston #5 of the Florida State Seminoles drops back to pass during their game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at BB&T Field on November 9, 2013 in Winston Salem, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Get
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

When a new superstar bursts on to the scene, curiosity comes with it. People want to know about what makes him tick, where he came from and what he's like off the field. The problem is, we all have skeletons in our closets.

Winston is no exception, whether he's guilty of this crime or not.

There's still so much to be determined in this case, and the curious timing coupled with the statement made by Winston's attorney's certainly suggest that Winston may be innocent.

If that's the case, it's incredibly unfortunate and unfair to Winston. The rush to judgment could cause irreparable damage to his reputation.

For now, though, Winston's personal life is front and center. In today's culture of high-profile college athletics, that was bound to happen.

 


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