Florida State Football

FSU Agrees on Lawsuit Settlement with Jameis Winston's Accuser

TALLAHASSEE, FL - APRIL 12:  Detailed view of the re-designed Florida State Seminoles logo prior to the Garnet and Gold spring game at Doak Campbell Stadium on April 12, 2014 in Tallahassee, Florida.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images
Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistJanuary 25, 2016

Florida State University and Erica Kinsman, who accused former Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston of rape in 2012, have agreed to a settlement in a Title IX lawsuit Kinsman filed a year ago, according to Rachel Axon of USA Today

Per Axon, "FSU agreed to pay Kinsman $950,000—an amount that includes attorney’s fees—as well as make a five-year commitment to awareness, prevention and training programs. The lump sum is the largest settlement for Title IX claims regarding indifference to a student’s sexual assault."   

The university didn't acknowledge or admit to liability in the settlement, however, and president John Thrasher maintained that the decision was made to avoid mounting legal costs in the incident, despite the fact that he was convinced the university would have "prevailed" in the lawsuit.

Kinsman sued the school after claiming Florida State was “deliberately indifferent” to her accusations of sexual assault, while also claiming the school interfered with the investigation to protect Winston, who won a Heisman Trophy and led Florida State to a national championship. 

Kinsman ultimately left the school in November 2013, while Winston was the top overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft and just finished his rookie campaign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“I will always be disappointed that I had to leave the school I dreamed of attending since I was little,” Kinsman said in a statement, per Axon. “I am happy that FSU has committed to continue making changes in order to ensure a safer environment for all students.”

The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has continued its Title IX investigation against the school.

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