It reads like a murder mystery, this ongoing saga of the young man without a moral compass. The mystery is why Florida State University decided to act on a minor misdemeanor, a very typical young man stunt of shouting something, we don’t know what but its nature was vulgar and directed toward females, based upon an internet meme traveling among the social media of college-aged students.
Previously, FSU went with the decision of the local State’s Attorney’s Office that as there wasn’t enough evidence to support prosecution of a young woman’s claim of rape, there was no need for the University to conduct an investigation into the conduct of Winston in that incident.
Only when the Feds got interested under Title IX did the University feel the need for a pretense that they would do something. This is FSU, remember, and Jameis Winston is not the first athlete whose questionable behavior was ignored as long as the Garnet and Gold won football games.
Is it a case that (wink, wink) sexual escapades are part of the make-up of muscle-bound, virile, testosterone-fueled young male athletes who smash heads on a grass-covered field in the afternoon and then seek a different conquest at night? Everyone remembers the wild oats of their youth or the wild oats as they wished it had been?
Notice the male oriented nature of that paragraph. Women must have a very different orientation or why, long ago, in my college days did two women take out a personal ad in the campus newspaper calling out the winning quarterback, “Hey, (name deleted), you had one pass that failed Saturday night!”
The incident in the supermarket continued the bad press just when FSU could hope that the attention would fade away. Again we had excuses: he forgot to pay, he had a moment of “youthful ignorance.” (His words.)
In this case, he received a civil citation to divert the case from criminal court, performed community service (he had seven days to do so; one must wonder how many hours were assigned), reimbursed the store, and served a suspension from the baseball team.
But there were no football penalties. That might cost victories.
Until now. Jameis Winston was suspended for one game, which was first a half-game suspension until media condemnation resulted in FSU making the punishment a full game.
Winston took the reprimand to heart. So much so that he was seen in full uniform taking snaps and throwing passes during the pre-game practice.
The coach ordered him off the field. He returned for the game wearing his jersey and sweatpants.
Some suspension. Really, FSU? Seriously?
At a minimum, he should have been banned from the stadium. Allowing him to stand on the sidelines, to be there should the back-up falter as a visual I-told-you-that-you-can’t-afford-to-play-without-me, negated any effect upon him.
A more effective punishment would have been to mandate him to attend classes about showing proper respect to women and then taking one hour of practice time for the entire team to listen to him share what he learned. That would sanction not only the quarterback, but the entire program that fosters a culture of tolerance toward the misconduct of its players.
Similarly, he could have been ordered to attend counseling sessions for one hour every week at a time that would cause him to miss practice. The counseling would help him to find his motivation for his behavior and attitudes as well as to realize that the NFL will not want him if this is what he brings to the professional gridiron. They have enough troubles of their own.
Jameis Winston in The Crime Upon the Table. The mystery is why a major university shows no remorse for the culture it encourages.