Jameis Winston is about to start his third year of college and his second year as an active member of the Florida State football team. By now, one would think he can handle being alone and making responsible decisions.
But after winning the Heisman Trophy as a redshirt freshman last season, everything changed. At least according to his father, Antonor Winston, who told Rachel Axon of USA Today that he thinks FSU should have someone with his son at all times to keep him out of trouble.
"He's supposed to have somebody around him 24/7," said Antonor Winston specifically. "He a Heisman Trophy winner so (he's) definitely not supposed to be by (himself)."
This comes on the heels of Winston's most recent transgression: a citation for stealing crab legs from a supermarket, according to Alina Machado and Mariano Castillo of CNN. More importantly, it also follows last year's "Summer of Johnny," when Johnny Manziel transformed from Heisman winner to Internet celebrity and couldn't keep his name out of the news for the wrong reasons.
Florida State athletic director Stan Wilcox responded to Winston's father with the following statement, per Axon:
We are committed to doing everything in our power within NCAA rules to provide Jameis Winston with the resources he needs to thrive as a student and an athlete. We will continue to work with Jameis and his family to make them aware of all the support services the university has to offer.
Winston, of course, was also subject to a high-profile sexual assault investigation last fall. Even though he was ultimately not charged in that case, it was a far more serious offense than stealing crab legs.
For all the good he did on the field last season—going undefeated and winning a national championship along with the sport's top individual honor—he has seen little but bad press this winter and spring.
Perhaps the school and Winston's family should be doing more to shield him from becoming the next "Johnny Football," but at the end of the day, he is still a person—and he should learn like every other person how to govern his actions responsibly.
So writes Kevin McGuire of College Football Talk:
USA Today frames the story centering on the interview with Winston’s father as though Winston was failed by his family and Florida State. There may be a small bit of truth somewhere in that angle, but even at the age of 20 years old, Winston is the first person who will be held accountable for his actions, both good and bad. What he does with the spotlight will go far in establishing his future NFL stock as well.
We'll see if he can redeem it in the next 12 months.
Follow Brian Leigh on Twitter: @BLeighDAT